Lahore-based natural beauty brand Conatural has raised $825,000 in a pre-Series A round, it told MENAbytes earlier this week. The investment came from Pakistan-focused VC Karavan and different angel investors including Weihan Liew, Adeel Ahmad, Fahad Qureshi, Mikaeel Habib, and Zaki Sumar.
Founded in 2014 by sisters; Myra Qureshi and Rema Taseer, Conatural develops, manufactures and sells natural and organic skin and haircare products through different channels including its own website and offline stores.
Most of its sales, however, come from its retail partners, Conatural’s co-founder and CEO Myra Queshi told MENAbytes. Conatural currently has over 50 SKUs – ranging from face washes and anti-aging creams to hair oils and shampoos, with its products being sold at some of the leading hypermarkets and pharmacy chains of the country which is a big feat considering that its a homegrown company and brand that had started just six years ago. Its products have also received endorsements from many leading TV celebrities and social media influencers of the country who apparently regularly use them.
The second-biggest sales channel for Conatural has been its website which the startup said has been witnessing decent growth since the start of pandemic.
“Having a mix of online and offline presence especially through our retail partners has helped us create the leading natural beauty brand of the country. We’re the pioneers of this category in Pakistan and are proud of what we’ve achieved so far. We will be doubling down on online direct-to-consumer sales with the help of this investment now,” said Myra, who had started Conatural with the aim of creating safe (free of toxic chemicals) and effective beauty products.
Conatural has been a profitable business and the only reason they’ve raised money is to be able to accelerate their growth with the help of investors, added the CEO.
In a statement Myra also explained that they’ve developed a strong brand foundation and are now ready to execute their national and international expansion plans, “We’re really excited about the journey ahead. We are positioning ourselves as a key player in the market of natural and organic products, fostering product innovation. The $8 billion beauty industry [in Pakistan] continues to grow, and we look forward to building a great company in an exciting category.”
The Pakistani startup in addition to developing and selling its own products has also worked with different companies and brands to provide them with private-label services and co-branded products. It has developed over 120 SKUs for its own brand and other brands to date – all of which it said use natural and organic formulas – and have been designed to focus on dermatological results and credentials.
Amad Saeed, a partner at Karavan, said, “Conatural is innovating the way forward for the natural and organic beauty industry in Pakistan, being cognizant to the changing needs of the young population. They are building a brand in Pakistan that fundamentally redefines what beauty in Pakistan looks like. A brand that can compete on the global stage with the likes of Lush, Kylie Cosmetics (Kylie Skin), Huda Beauty (Wishful) and Glossier. Over the last 10 months of getting to know Myra, we are extremely excited to be joining her on this journey.”
Rema Taseer, the co-founder of Conatural, said, “We will continue to make Conatural the best product experience in the field of natural and organic and emerging as the pioneer and market leader. We are proud to partner with strategic investors who share our vision and look forward to building a clear brand based on the company’s ethos.”