Retail in Asia


Unilever invests in Indonesia’s Esqa

Unilever Ventures, the investment arm of fast-moving consumer goods giant Unilever, has led a Series A funding round in Esqa, raising USD 6 million for the Indonesian vegan brand.

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The investment marks Unilever Ventures’ first foray into the Southeast Asian market.

Founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs, Cindy Angelina and Kezia Trihatmanto, Esqa comes from the Celtic word ‘Eska’, meaning ‘pure beauty’. The brand offers 120 SKUs, which are certified as halal, as well as vegan, with most of the range featuring colour cosmetics, and a recent expansion into skincare.

Esqa was the first local vegan brand to launch in Indonesia, according to reports, and hopes to use the funding enter its next phase of growth.

“With Unilever Ventures expertise in partnering with visionary founders in building iconic consumer brands across the world, it will empower Esqa to embark on its next stage of growth,” said Angelina.

Unilever Ventures plans to build Esqa “into one of the most exciting indie beauty brands in Southeast Asia”.

The brand is available through marketplaces, beauty websites and its own dedicated site. It is also sold in beauty retailers Sephora and Watsons and other beauty stores in over 40 Indonesian towns and cities. Internationally, Esqa has a presence in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

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The Indonesian beauty and personal care market is the fastest-growing in Southeast Asia and was valued at USD 7.3 billion this year, according to Statista. The market is expected to grow annually by 5.81 percent CAGR from 2022 to 2027.