Pendulum led the round, with Endeavor and The Fearless Fund also contributing. The infusion totals $6.7 million.
Melissa Butler, the business’ founder and chief executive officer, said the round came after years of consistent growth unencumbered by the pandemic. “Our lip sales were crazy during the pandemic — we sold more lip than anything because we have that liquid matter formula. That’s one of the most significant parts of the business. Our liquid mattes last all day and don’t dry your lips out,” she told WWD, adding that her products also catered to no-makeup makeup trends.
In 2020, lip cosmetics faced the most precipitous sales declines in prestige beauty, per data from The NPD Group.
Earlier this year, Butler also launched Thread Beauty, a Target-exclusive complexion brand geared toward Gen Z. “The reality is, Gen Z doesn’t have the money to buy premium and prestige products, they’re looking for things that are super-affordable.”
Butler, who started her career on Wall Street before building brands, had only raised $2 million previously in 2018. “We have been very efficient with capital,” she said. “We had created a lot of value, expanded into Walmart, into Target and launched Thread with $2 million.”
The new round will go toward marketing and broadening both brands’ distribution channels. The Lip Bar, for example, is opening a new retail store in Detroit, where the brand is based. Butler has other ambitions in beauty as well. “The Lip Bar Inc. now has two brands, The Lip Bar and Thread Beauty and undoubtedly, in the near future, we will have a third,” she continued.
The Lip Bar’s revenues are expected to double this year, according to industry sources.