Nykaa Founder Falguni Nayar Becomes India’s Wealthiest Female Billionaire

Falguni Nayar owns her company stake with two family trusts and seven other promoter entities. Nayar’s beauty startup has escalated her to the ranks of the world’s richest.

She owns half of Nykaa, is now worth about $6.5 billion as shares of the firm surged as much as 89% when they began trading Wednesday. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, She’s become India’s wealthiest self-made female billionaire.

FSN E-Commerce Ventures, Nykaa’s parent entity, is India’s first woman-led unicorn to hit the stock exchange. It priced its initial public offering at the top end of a marketed range, raising 53.5 billion rupees ($722 million). The stock was up 78% as of 10:36 a.m. in Mumbai. 

Nayar, who formerly led a top Indian investment bank, founded Nykaa in 2012 just months prior to turning 50. Earlier, most women in the country bought makeup and hair-care products at neighborhood mom-and-pop stores where the selection was scanty and trials not heard of.

The startup has since grown into the country’s leading beauty retailer, promoting online sales with demo videos by glamorous Bollywood actors and celebrities and more than 70 brick-and-mortar stores.

Nykaa, originated from the Sanskrit word for heroine, sells items including exfoliation creams, bridal make-up essentials and hundreds of shades of lipstick, foundation and nail color to suit Indian skin tones, skin types and local weather.

Nykaa’s sales surged 35% to $330 million in the year ended in March, according to its filing. It is a profitable company, a rarity among the internet startups making a debut in the public markets.

Nayar owns her company stake through two family trusts and seven other promoter entities. Her Ivy League-educated daughter and son, who run different Nykaa units, are among the promoters. 

Nayar is India’s richest self-made female billionaire. Also, Savitri Jindal, who controls the OP Jindal Group conglomerate founded by her late husband, is the nation’s wealthiest woman.

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