We are in a new year, and yet, it seems that some things have not changed. The funding boom continues, which fuels the rise of new unicorns. This has not changed in 2022, which got its first unicorn on its very first day.

That’s right, Mamaearth’s parent and digital-first consumer brands company Honasa Consumer became the first unicorn this year after raising $52 million in its latest funding round. The round, led by Sequoia Global, also included participation from Sofina Ventures SA, the Belgium-based investment company, and Evolvence, a UAE-based India-focused fund. Early investors Fireside Ventures and Stellaris partially exited in this round.

The round also provided an option for the monetization of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

According to the company, the proceeds from the funding round will be utilized towards the expansion of personal care D2C brands venturing into new avenues “with unique propositions”, as well as using them to launch new brands, innovate products, and expand the distribution and marketing of its existing brands. It also plans to deploy them towards exploring inorganic growth (in the beauty and personal care segment) and expanding the current portfolio across borders.

Honasa was founded in 2016 by Varun and Ghazal Alagh. Its first brand Mamaearth claims to be Asia’s first MADE SAFE® certified brand for mothers and babies. As Mamaearth, it offers toxin-free, natural products, including bamboo-based baby wipes, face masks, lotions, and hair care products to mothers and babies. Honasa’s portfolio includes Mamaearth, The Derma Co. (launched in late 2019), and the recently-launched hydration-based skincare brand Aqualogica.

“We have been on a constant quest to become a company that is the first choice of evolving Indian millennials in the beauty and personal care segment. Our flagship brand, Mamaearth has established itself as a leader in D2C personal care with a strong purpose of Goodness Inside,” said Varun Alagh, co-founder and CEO, Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd.

The company is currently present in over 1000 Indian cities. It also aims to clock $1 billion in revenue over the next five years and expand the outlets in the top 20 cities where its sale is the highest.