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EXCLUSIVE: Aria Growth Partners Invests in The Inkey List

The minority investment will fuel The Inkey List's global expansion, the brand said.

The Inkey List‘s straightforward, digital-first approach to education is paying off — literally.

The brand has received a minority investment from Aria Growth Partners, WWD has learned. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although a statement from the brand indicated that the firm’s investments typically range in size from $5 million to $25 million.

After only three years on the market, the brand has found success through a global partnership with Sephora, and a buzzy collaboration on a range with Hyram Yarbro, dubbed Selfless by Hyram.

North America has been a key market for the brand, which is based in the U.K. According to cofounders Colette Laxton and Mark Curry, the brand hopes to widen its footprint with Aria Growth Partners’ infusion.

“For the next 18 months, we’ve got a lot more headway in North America, in particular, and for sure in Europe. We’ve got our third leg of our business in terms of Asia, and we haven’t even tapped the surface there,” Curry said.

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Part of scaling the business will involve putting boots on the ground, Laxton added. “Momentum is building, and we’re trying to keep up,” she said. “If you’re going to go into a new geography, you need to understand that market, you really need to grow and develop it, and right now we have a team in North America.”

Neither Curry nor Laxton commented on sales, although industry sources estimate the brand to have reached $75 million in gross sales last year, and is slated to pass the $100 million mark in 2022.

Both cofounders credit the brand’s digital prowess and straightforward approach to education for its success.

“From a social perspective, we get up to 6,000 people saving each post, which means for us that we’re adding value,” Laxton said. “We might not have budgets of billions to do ad campaigns, but what we’re doing is delivering valuable knowledge to people.”

The Inkey List’s content strategy focuses on ingredient education, and is building out its skin care support service. “If you say, ‘I’ve had a treatment for the first time, my face is red,’ to our team, they’re going to help. People ask about all brands and I love it because they’re actually interested in learning more. We’re here, we’re human, and we’re here to provide you that service and support.”

With the addition of a new insights team within the brand, Laxton and Curry also hope to leverage data to make more informed business decisions. “They say, ‘consumers are loving this, this is what people are clicking on,'” Laxton explained. “We’re starting to get much smarter as we’re growing about what we’re doing.”


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