Christopher Gavigan, cofounder of The Honest Co. (with Jessica Alba), is veering into a new wellness territory with his latest project, a direct-to-consumer CBD business that has already raised venture capital funding.
Called Prima, the business has raised a nearly $3.3-million seed round led by Lerer Hippeau with Greycroft and other private and institutional investors. Prima will serve as an educational platform and sales hub with its own brand of wellness and beauty products, according to Gavigan, who founded the business with another Honest Co. alum, Laurel Angelica Myers, and Jessica Assaf, the founder of Cannabis Feminist.
“Prima is a science-driven, purpose-oriented plant wellness company that is focusing on hemp cannabinoids and trying to unlock their huge potential,” Gavigan said.
To do that, Prima will roll out educational content surrounding CBD first, and follow it up with beauty and wellness product launches in March, he said. With the educational component, Gavigan hopes to help rid CBD of its sometimes stoner stigma.
Prima, which will hold a B Corp certification, plans to operate with strict purity, transparency and quality protocols in place, Gavigan said. “We’re going to bring a much [higher] level of sophistication and transparency on testing, on where we source our ingredients, how they’re being processed, what’s inside and putting the level of traditional CPG rigor into [the brand].”
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While Gavigan was mum on exactly which products Prima will launch, he did note that he doesn’t personally like the CBD tinctures that are popular in today’s CBD market, and ticked off pain management, inflammation, ingestibles and beverages as potential categories.
“We’re taking a very differentiated and more sophisticated approach to the category. It’s young, it’s emerging, it’s fragile,” he said.
“A lot of what we see in the market…are tinctures, there’s oil in a dropper format, and that is a format that I just don’t think is delightful or exciting. I’m not someone who likes to put oil in my mouth and be told to hold it and hope that my body absorbs it,” Gavigan said.
At Prima, he is working to deliver compounds in different ways, and will be using a new encapsulation technology so cannabinoids “can impact the body and deliver their therapeutic potential in a strong and decisive way,” he said.
The products will be at a masstige price point, he noted, and leverage other organic botanical oils. The goal is to price the product about 10 to 15 percent higher than what is available in the mass market. While Prima will start as a direct-to-consumer operation, the business is talking “to a few small boutique players” that could potentially provide a brick-and-mortar presence for the brand, Gavigan said.
Prima is one of several CBD businesses to hit the market recently. There’s also Standard Dose, a multibrand, online marketplace that focuses on education and is backed by CBD-focused beauty fund, LB Equity. A former L’Oréal trend expert, Sam Cheow, has also launched a line that includes CBD products.