R.e.m. Beauty, the beauty brand founded by Ariana Grande, has gained a new investment.
The round was led by Sandbridge Capital, and Strand Equity, Hybe America, Live Nation Entertainment and Universal Music Group also participated. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Our new partners share our same values and strategic vision and I welcome them as we take flight during this new and exciting era,” Grande said via email. “I am incredibly inspired and cannot wait for everyone to witness what we have in store. The journey in building R.e.m. beauty has only just begun.”
The brand was recently PETA-approved cruelty free, and has launched at Sephora in Europe and Selfridges in the U.K. Michelle Shigemasa, R.e.m. Beauty’s recently anointed chief executive, said more markets are on the docket.
“This investment will support global expansion into meaningful geographies, key markets — wherever there’s a strong demand for the product,” Shigemasa said. “Ariana herself resonates in Asia, as an example. We’re going to look at this in a very bespoke way — where there’s a huge following of Ariana generally, and we’ll combine that with big geographies.”
Grande’s hyper-engaged community attracted investors.
“R.e.m. Beauty has earned the trust of the beauty community and consumers alike by creating an impressive best-in-class line of products inspired by Ariana’s compelling, mission-driven brand vision,” said Ken Suslow, Sandbridge Capital founder and managing partner, in a statement. “We are thrilled to come together with Ariana and her stellar R.e.m. team in support of the brand’s strong growth trajectory through our global industry network and brand building expertise.”
The firm previously invested in Ilia and Youth to the People, which respectively sold to the Courtin-Clarins family’s holding company in 2022 and L’Oréal in 2021. It also counts Ceremonia, U Beauty, Peach & Lily and Henry Rose as current beauty investments.
The investment will also go toward building out R.e.m. Beauty’s team. The brand took operations in-house earlier this year during the bankruptcy proceedings of its previous licensee, Forma Brands, when it also purchased remaining inventory for $15 million. The brand has continued growing despite Forma’s bankruptcy, and tapped Shigemasa to helm the business earlier this year.
“We’re building a new team and culture of smart, talented, passionate people who are committed to taking R.e.m. to the next level of success, and it’s exciting times — building a team, starting a new page. I’m honored to have them,” Shigemasa said.
The line has been for sale at Ulta Beauty for about a year, where its performance has been consistently lauded. “Our guests have come to know and love each and every high quality R.e.m. beauty product found in our assortment,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer, in a statement. “From eyes to lips to face, they know to expect inclusive, vegan, cruelty free, beautiful and innovative offerings, which is why the demand for these products at Ulta Beauty is always exciting to hear and see. We look forward to continued success as partners in this next phase of growth for Ariana’s incredible company.”
Building up the brand’s innovation pipeline — and executing it at retail, such as its space-themed Ulta launch activation — is another priority for Shigemasa. “I believe in building upon your strengths, and if you think strengths, you think product innovation — even moreso, deeper activation,” Shigemasa said. “So it’s having the investment, to really look at a launch with a 360 approach. That, and leaning into our community.”