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Nécessaire Focuses on Growth After Latest Funding Round

Cavu Consumer Partners has become the brand's newest investor.

Nécessaire is eyeing expansion — with a helping hand from another round of financing.

The Los Angeles-based body-first brand founded by Randi Christiansen, a former marketing and strategy executive at The Estée Lauder Cos., and editorial veteran Nick Axelrod has received financing from Cavu Consumer Partners, although it did not disclose terms. 

It previously gained investments from Imaginary Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Maveron Ventures and VMG Catalyst.

Nécessaire is expecting to make $35 million in retail sales this year from selling around 1.5 million units, and the company has big goals for the future with aggressive plans to broaden its product range and retail strategy.

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“Nick and I decided that we needed some growth capital to do three things. Number one, we want to continue to be the leader in our responsibility line of work,” Christiansen, the chief executive officer of Nécessaire, told Beauty Inc. “Pillar number two is we’re going to go from launching a couple of products a year to launching a few more and the company will accelerate its product engine. Then thirdly, expand those retailers while also protecting our direct business.”

Of the investment, Jenna Jackson, principal of growth at Cavu Consumer Partners, said: “Nécessaire is a true representation of the kind of category creator Cavu aims to invest in — we believe they’re changing the way people think about clean beauty for body, scalp and skin care, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on this journey.”

The duo came up with the concept for the brand when they both found themselves living in L.A. at the same time. Instead of putting fragrances and shea butter on the body, they wanted to create essentials that had the same benefits as many face products with ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid focused on efficacy.

“Nick was talking to me about his concept and I was talking about mine with him,” said Christiansen. “One was about females and bodies and the other one was about men and all the things that men need and we were like, ‘you know what, let’s create this destination of essentials.’

“We really wanted to create the very best skin care for all these areas that deserve skin care,” she continued. “Secondarily and very, very importantly, we wanted to create the Patagonia of beauty: the idea of creating a business that really is a hallmark environmental stewardship.” 

It launched in 2018 with three products: a body wash, a body lotion, and a sex gel. Since then it has added more products for the body including a deodorant gel, as well as a shampoo, a conditioner, a neck serum and, most recently, a scalp serum. 

According to Christiansen, the neck serum sold out at Sephora and on its website.

“Over the last three years, we have built our body business with phenomenal success. We are a top body brand at Sephora already just a couple of years in,” she said. “We focused on body, we moved to neck and the next big thing for us is scalp and hair health. We like tackling these funky areas and do it well.”

The new Scalp Serum, available at Sephora, Nordstrom and on the brand’s website, is a daily treatment infused with a 5 percent biomimetic peptide blend to help prevent hair loss and support hair growth. 

As for the Sex Gel, while it cannot currently be found in stores or online, it has not disappeared for good, assured Christiansen.

“The funny thing is people think sex didn’t do well for us [during the pandemic]. I’ll tell you what, we sold a lot of Sex Gels, but during COVID-19 we just ran out of packs because of supply chain pressure. Every time we post that we have a new thing people are like, ‘when is the Sex Gel coming back?’ So next year it will come back.”

In retail, in North America Nécessaire can be found at Sephora, Nordstrom, Violet Grey, Cos Bar, Goop, The Detox Market, Onda, Shen and Joanna Czech. In Australia and New Zealand it is stocked in Mecca, while in the U.K. it is available at Space N.K. and Liberty. It’s also sold at Net-a-porter and Ssense.

“We want to go deep and we just want to be the best partner we can be and frankly kick it and expand those retailers while also protecting our direct business,” said Christiansen. 

The split is currently 50-50 between direct-to-consumer and retail.

On the responsibility side, it has just been award B Corp. certification after 18 months of working toward that goal. The certification means that it has to achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous tool that nonprofit organization B Lab uses to evaluate and score business impact in five key areas: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. 

The brand was already climate neutral and plastic neutral certified and allocates a 1 percent earth tax to environmental nonprofits fighting to defend the air, water, land and wildlife worldwide. As for ingredients, the brand adheres to the EU’s standards for safe and clean beauty, and it formulates without the EU’s prohibited substances list.

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“The name Nécessaire has become a filter for everything we do. Is the product necessary? Is the conversation necessary? Is the time we take out somebody’s day necessary? Is the ingredient necessary,” said Christiansen of the brand’s mission.

Kelly Dill, a partner at Imaginary Ventures and investor in Nécessaire, added: “Today they are the pioneer of prestige body care. The formulations have led to an incredibly loyal customer base that awaits anything the brands wants to launch next.”