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EXCLUSIVE: U Beauty Gains Minority Investor

Sandbridge Capital, U Beauty's first minority investor, has also backed Youth to the People, Ilia and Peach & Lily, among others.

U Beauty, the skin care brand founded by influencer Tina Craig, has a new backer.

Sandbridge Capital, an early backer of Youth to the People, Ilia and Peach & Lily, marks U Beauty’s first investment. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The brand, which launched in 2020 with the near-instant sellout of its hero product, the Resurfacing Compound, is “doing really well because we’re growing steadily,” Craig told WWD. “We have never taken money up to this point, and we only started out with one product.” She didn’t comment on sales, although industry sources expect the business to exceed $15 million in sales during 2022.

The investment will fund further innovation, which thus far includes proprietary technology and a host of products across skin and body. This year alone, that includes the Barrier Bioactive Treatment, the Super Smart Body Hydrator — so named after the same moisturizer U Beauty currently offers for face — and the Plasma Lip Compound.

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“It seems sporadic, people will say ‘you don’t even have this category yet,’ but the truth is, they’re not ready,” Craig said. “We’ve been developing from four to five years ago, and we launch when they’re ready… We need to be sure everything we put out, there’s nothing like it: multifunctional and efficacious. It’s really time-consuming.”

All products feature Siren Capsules, patent-pending technology that aims to “lure free radicals like a magnet,” per U Beauty’s website.

No adjacent categories are off the table for expansion. “All of it is in discussion,” Craig said. “I recently bleached my hair and thought my brain was burning off, so I started to worry about my scalp health. Beauty is from the top of my head, down to my toes, and everything is game.”

The infusion will also help the brand expand its team, Craig added, as well as further support its current retail partnerships, which include Violet Grey, Net-a-porter, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. “With some retailers, we’re growing 70 percent more than last year,” Craig said. “We don’t want to necessarily find new partners, but the partners we have right now, we want to go deeper with them. This technology takes so much education, so we’d rather go deep than go wide with new partners.”

For more from WWD.com, see:

The NPD Group’s Global Snapshot of Prestige Beauty

Executive Changes at Lauder, Coty Inc., Glossier and U Beauty

Where’;s Kim’s Rank? Beauty’s Most Expensive Skin Care Routines