The Beauty Chef has raised $10 million from Point King Capital, in a deal that underscores growing investor interest in the wellness space.
The Beauty Chef makes products such as Glow Inner Beauty Powder, $65; Antioxidant Inner Beauty Boost, $42; Gut Primer Inner Beauty Support, $69, and Probiotic Skin Refiner, $69. The brand’s products are sold online, as well as through Sephora, Goop, Net-a-porter, Selfridges and Space NK.
The brand was founded by Carla Oates, a former beauty editor, who struggled with skin conditions before revising her diet. Oates started experimenting with lacto-fermenting foods in her kitchen — think sauerkraut, not beer — and eventually, that led to the birth of her brand.
“I had eczema when I was younger, and knew that really looking after your skin was an inside-out job,” Oates said. When she was working as a beauty editor, she saw interest in natural beauty ebb and flow, but has seen sticking power in recent years, and said the Beauty Chef has grown quickly and organically over the past three years.
“There wasn’t a strong movement or an understanding of it being really efficacious,” Oates said. But now science has come on board the concept of the microbiome is hitting the mainstream, she said.
She works with scientists, microbiologists, naturopaths and nutritionists to develop products and do research. “I love it when they collectively agree that your diet has a big of an impact on your microbioime as your lifestyle,” Oates said.
The influx of capital from Point King, a new fund, should help the Beauty Chef expand more quickly, Oates said. The plans include growing the product line globally, funding more research in the microbiome space, building up its direct-to-consumer presence, and eventually, launching a skin-care range, she said.
“We’re so passionate about the microbiome space — it’s not just the gut microbiome, it’s the skin microbiome,” Oates said. She has been working on a skin-care range for the past three years, but it “has to be organic and highly efficacious and science-based, so that takes time.”
In addition to raising capital, the Beauty Chef has hired veteran beauty industry executive Laurence Crussol as chief operating officer. Crussol was most recently Jurlique global deputy ceo, where she met Sam McKay, one of the founders of Point King. McKay called her a “seasoned global beauty professional and fantastic leader.”
For Oates, who serves as the company’s ceo, the hire of Crussol means she can focus on areas like creative direction and product development. “We’re quite yin and yang,” Oates said. “For me, having that incredible strong support in the back of the company can really help me grow the business and focus on where I am the best, which is in product development and creative direction.”
Crussol is the company’s key hire for now, but Oates noted that the brand will also likely need to expand the sales team. “Education plays such a key part in our brand, because there’s so much information around the gut microbiome and how our products work and how they perform — they’re an educated sell,” Oates said.
The Beauty Chef is also planning to expand geographically, particularly in Asia. The business is said to be growing, and industry sources said it is doing about $15 million in net sales.
McKay, who partnered with Harvey Carter to start Australia-based investment fund Point King, said the two plan to continue to look for deals across the consumer space.
“We’re passionate about beauty and wellness and big believers in the [beauty and wellness] category,” McKay said, noting that the fund will look at deals “broadly across the consumer space globally.”
Ingestible beauty has hit the mainstream in recent years as wellness trends continue to permeate society. In the U.S., Sephora has noticeably upped their assortment, adding collagen products and other ingestible beauty options.
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