Prestige body care brand Maëlys has a new investor.
The brand received an investment of an estimated $30 million from Norwest, the venture and growth investment firm. Norwest now holds a minority stake in the brand, and joins controlling shareholder Barinboim Group.
Sonya Brown, general partner at Norwest, is also joining the company’s board. Brown said the investment would primarily go to scaling the business to meet the ensuing demand of triple-digit growth.
“They are 100 percent direct-to-consumer on e-commerce today,” Brown said. “They have a very tiny bit of business from Sephora.com and Ulta.com. They’ve had such a d-to-c demand that they haven’t had as much inventory to provide to Sephora and Ulta,” Brown said, stressing that expanding distribution wasn’t the brand’s first priority. “Currently, the intent is to stay mainly d-to-c.”
According to a statement from Maëlys, the brand has grown 400 percent year-over-year and is anticipating $100 million in sales for 2021. “We are in a unique position to cement our place as the leader in the body care market by introducing a one-of-a-kind product innovation pipeline, utilizing a data-driven approach, while also building a strong following. We look forward to working alongside Norwest, as their deep knowledge in the consumer space makes them the ideal partner for us,” said Rom Ginzburg, chief executive officer of Maëlys, in a statement.
The brand is also reshuffling its operations to keep pace with demand. “The company actually moved their manufacturing from Israel to the U.S. to be able to scale inventory quickly,” Brown said. “The other thing is, this is about building a brand. We do want to spend some marketing dollars, because the brand is low on brand awareness. There are a lot of opportunities for people to learn about the brand.”
The brand, which has gained popularity among Millennials, offers a body-positive outlook on skin and body care concerns. Maëlys’ ethos is part of what attracted Brown to the brand. “These are important trends that are here to stay,” she said in a follow-up email to WWD. “I am always looking to connect with brands that embody these values. I am always looking to support brands that help women feel empowered and confident. This also ties into our overall investment thesis.”
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