scorecardColour them impressed: A startup so good that sharks had to pitch their expertise to founders
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Colour them impressed: A startup so good that sharks had to pitch their expertise to founders

Colour them impressed: A startup so good that sharks had to pitch their expertise to founders
Business4 min read
  • Paradyes claims to be India’s first semi-permanent hair colour brand that offers hair colours that last for 8-10 washes.
  • Peyush Bansal called it a business that can create a category.
  • Paradyes founders received many lucrative offers, but accepted a lower offer to bring the right sharks into their company – Vineeta Singh and Aman Gupta.
Few products pitched on Shark Tank Season 2 courted as much attention from the sharks as Paradyes — India’s first semi-permanent hair colour brand.

Inspired by her own experiments with hair colouring, 26-year-old Yushika Jolly launched Paradyes in March 2021 with her husband, Siddharth Raghuvanshi. Based out of Ahmedabad, Paradyes aims to break myths surrounding hair colour, and go beyond the limited options (primarily browns and reds) available in the market.

“There are several myths about the damage that colouring might cause to your hair. We are here to inform our customers and audience about how they can experiment and style their hair without damaging them! Our products are Ammonia-free, Paraben-free, PPD-free, and damage-free,” states the company website.

In 2019, when the idea for the product first came to Jolly, her brother helped her with the R&D. Jolly’s family is responsible for manufacturing the core raw material and chemicals used globally in hair colour products, and has a turnover of nearly ₹800 crore.

Currently, Paradyes provides over 20 hair colours that are affordable, easy-to-apply, safe and don’t require a ‘long-term commitment’. The colour lasts for 8-10 washes, the founders claim. The founders also shared that they aim to expand into the permanent and temporary hair colour categories in the future.

Paradyes’ products are currently available on the company website, in online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart. They are available offline in over 35 Health & Glow stores. Paradyes has over 80k followers on Instagram.

Founders receive a rainbow of lucrative offers

Jolly, who holds a Bachelor's degree in design from NIFT, is responsible for marketing, packaging and design. Raghuvanshi, who holds an MBA degree from Symbiosis, looks after the financials and operations.

The startup raked in sales to the tune of ₹3.5 crore in FY22. Furthermore, it saw a consistent increase in monthly sales (before the episode was shot) — from ₹35 lakh in July to ₹51 lakh in September.

The founders asked for an investment of ₹65 lakh for 1% equity, which valued the company at ₹65 crore.

Paradyes left the sharks impressed with a robust supply chain and on-brand marketing. It was dubbed a ‘category-creation business’ by Lenskart cofounder, Peyush Bansal. He started the bidding war with an offer of ₹65 lakh for 5% equity, valuing the company at ₹13 crore.

This was followed by a joint offer by Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal and Sugar Cosmetics cofounder Vineeta Singh, who asked for 4% equity for the same amount, raising the valuation to ₹16.25 crore.

Aman Gupta, co-founder of boAt, was the last one to make an offer. While he offered the same terms as Bansal, i.e. ₹65 lakh for 5% equity, he added that he would love to collaborate with Singh.

Rejecting a higher offer for the right sharks

After receiving multiple lucrative offers, the founders made an unexpected demand — they requested ₹65 lakh for 3% equity, but from Vineeta Singh and Aman Gupta.

Bansal commented that Singh’s company, Sugar Cosmetics, was actually a competitor for Paradyes — a claim that Singh vehemently denied, stating there is a wide difference in the hair products and makeup or cosmetics.

Bansal’s offer of ₹65 lakh for 3% equity was matched by Singh and Mittal, with Gupta also joining the two. Bansal rallied on with a counter offer of ₹65 lakh for 1% equity — the original ask by the founders.

Gupta offered more than money to the founders. “We’re here to support you. In no other category has an Indian brand pushed out foreign brands from the India market but we (boAt) have. We know how to fight them. Now decide, if you need value or valuation!” commented Gupta.

In less than five minutes, the startup’s valuation zoomed from ₹13 crore to ₹65 crore. The overwhelmed founders said that Singh and Gupta had the kind of experience they were looking for.

This left a sour taste in Mittal’s mouth — who backed out, stating he doubted the founders’ integrity. Ultimately, Gupta and Singh jointly made an offer of ₹65 lakh for 2% equity, valuing the company at approximately ₹32.5 crore. The founders accepted it even though they had a higher offer from Bansal.

‘Dirty game was played, breaking the alliance’

While Bansal remarked to the founders that it wasn’t the right choice, the founders clarified to both Mittal and Bansal that their intention was never to offend the sharks.

“What happened here was that you got to nitpick over what you wanted. And your valuation was raised instantly. But a dirty game was played here — breaking an alliance between two sharks, as Aman and Vineeta did. And then what you did. It was a little messy and dirty,” commented Mittal.

At that time, Namita Thapar, executive director at Emcure Pharmaceuticals commented that the founders had every right to choose from the multiple offers available to them.

“Let them (founders) do what they think was the right choice for them — why do you have to make them feel guilty about it?” remarked Thapar, who had backed out from investing right at the start.

Meanwhile, till the end, Bansal stuck to his guns that Singh’s Sugar Cosmetics would prove to be a competition for Paradyes.

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