Historic Milestone for Sikkim: Agapi Becomes First Women-led Startup in Sikkim to Attract FDI

Gangtok (Sikkim) [India]: Sustainable skincare brand Agapi Sikkim achieves a USD 1 million valuation with an equity infusion from prominent investors, marking the first FDI in a women-led startup in the state of Sikkim and setting a powerful precedent for scalable and investable startups emerging from India’s Himalayan and North-Eastern regions.

Founded by Rinzing Choden Bhutia, a Gangtok local, Agapi Sikkim redefines eco-conscious skincare and empowers marginalized indigenous women. Rinzing and co-founder Varsha Shrestha started the company to showcase Sikkim’s untapped natural treasures to the world. Featuring locally-sourced Himalayan ingredients, Agapi’s handcrafted skincare line sets a new global standard.

Agapi has secured contracts with esteemed hotel chains like JW Marriott and Taj Hotels and launched in stores across the North-East and West Bengal. With this funding, Agapi will enhance its product range and accelerate its growth trajectory towards becoming one of India’s top natural skincare brands. Rinzing, Founder and CEO of Agapi, remarked, “Our mission is to empower, uplift, and redefine skincare while preserving the unique heritage of Sikkim. With this funding milestone we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our vision to life.”

The investors in this historic funding round include prominent local figures in Sikkim, luminaries from major venture capital firms, and global impact investors, including Japan-based Arun Seed and Ahaana Ventures, along with the pivotal contribution of Alsisar Impact, a market-leader in catalyzing entrepreneurship across the Himalayas and hinterlands of India.

Alsisar Impact’s lighthouse ‘place-based’ incubation model has catalyzed some of the best-known for-profit, scalable and sustainable startups across the Himalayas, such as Fast Beetle, NagaEd, and NE Origins. Anuj Sharma, founder of Alsisar Impact, a steadfast supporter of Agapi since its inception, commented, “Agapi’s journey is an inspiring testament to the power of sustainable entrepreneurship from the Himalayas led by locals, for global markets.”

Sonali Mehta-Rao, founder of Ahaana Ventures and serial social entrepreneur, also serves on Agapi Sikkim’s Board of Directors. She adds, “This achievement marks a pivotal moment in reshaping perceptions of women entrepreneurs from indigenous communities in the startup investment landscape, heralding a new era of investment and entrepreneurship.”

Agapi is a sustainable skincare brand based in Sikkim, India, with a focus on natural and indigenous ingredients, ethical practices, women’s economic empowerment and environmental responsibility. The brand’s products are celebrated for their quality, contribution to a greener future, and global appeal, making conscious consumer choices accessible to all.

Website: https://agapisikkim.com/

Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/agapi_sikkim/

For inquiries, please contact: Varsha Shreshtha – CFO and Director, Trateng Greens Private Limited (Agapi) | varsha@agapisikim.com