GUNAS, America’s first vegan handbag company, has successfully completed its seed investment round of a quarter million dollars from an angel investor.
The investment would suggest a company valuation of $5 million.
The brand specializes in identifying emerging trends and has attracted a predominantly millennial audience that is looking for ethical, sustainable and compassionate fashion without compromising on style or quality.
Sugandh Agrawal, founder of GUNAS, which won the Macy’s Best Retail Bag Award in New York City through the Independent Handbag Awards in 2018, says the move into beauty products is in line with the compassionate lifestyle brand’s ethos of inner and outer beauty without harming any living being.
Over the past four years, sales of GUNAS handbags and accessories went up by approximately 30% annually as the brand’s message of mindful consumerism increasingly resonated with its audience globally. The company has a growing social media base and a healthy list of customers in over 40 countries.
The company will use the $250,000 investment to introduce uniquely designed and 100% plant-based artisanal beauty bars, starting with pure olive oil soap in floral fragrances and volcanic ash.
“Beauty soaps have a huge opportunity in terms of being animal-free and formulated with pure ingredients,” said Agrawal. “This new direction is an extension of our core values of inner beauty inside and out, without harming any living being.”
In addition to the monetary investment, the angel investor – who prefers to remain anonymous – will provide GUNAS with trademarking help, digital marketing and expanding sales in Asia, as well as placing the brand’s fashion and beauty products with Asian celebrities.