The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. has made a minority investment in Deciem.
The business was founded by Brandon Truaxe and brings ingredient-focused formulations to market through its portfolio of different lines, with speed-to-market as a priority. Truaxe and his coceo Nicola Kilner run the business, which has launched 10 different brands.
Perhaps best known of the Deciem lines are The Ordinary, which offers familiar-sounding ingredients at entry price points, and Niod, a line that has ingredient-centric approach to antiaging. The Ordinary’s product lineup includes things like Advanced Retinoid 2%, $9.80; and Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, $5.80. Niod’s products include Copper Amino Isolate Serum 5%, $200; Neck Elasticity Catalyst, $70, and Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate, $68. Industry sources estimated Deciem’s sales at around $30 million.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company has grown its direct-to-consumer business 1,250 percent in the last 12 months, with stores’ sales increasing 1,000 percent in the last six months. The Ordinary is the fastest-selling beauty brand on Asos, and the brand’s web site traffic grew by 2.2 million monthly organic visits in the last quarter.
“It’s nearly unthinkable for a conglomerate to embrace a disruptive mind-set like that of Deciem — and yet we have felt like family from the very first day we met the loving team at the Estée Lauder Companies,” said Truaxe.
The company has a focus on Millennials and those seeking “functional beauty,” and sells its products across a variety of price points through nine of its own stores (called Abnormal Beauty Company), department stores, online, television shopping networks and retailers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
“We are going out of our way to make it about an experience more so than just product,” Truaxe said in 2016 about the company’s stores. “It’s a peaceful, calm place to explore and learn on your own.”
Deciem’s other lines include Hylamide, a brand that makes products that target different layers of the skin; The Chemistry Brand, which makes products for specific purposes (like Heel Chemistry, $15, for cracked hands and heels, and Hand Chemistry, for younger looking hands, $20); Stemm, a line that focuses on the health of hair follicles and the scalp; Fountain, a line of dietary supplements ( The Glow Molecule, for example, retails for $50); Hif, a professional-level hair-care line; White RX, a skin-brightening line, and AB Crew, a fitness-related beauty and nutrition line.
“In four short years, Brandon and Nicola have established, in Deciem, a powerful engine of innovation and growth,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and ceo of Lauder. “Through its unique business model, Deciem has produced some of the most creative independent brands on the market, capturing the passion and trust of devoted fans around the world — and they are just getting started. We look forward to engaging with the team and supporting their global growth aspirations.”
“Deciem is a new kind of beauty company that is well-positioned to create a new generation of successful beauty brands,” said William P. Lauder, executive chairman of Lauder. “Brandon is the quintessential founder and entrepreneur who, as Estée Lauder exemplified, is willing to take risks, push the boundaries of beauty and fearlessly pursue a bold vision.”
Deciem is just one of the Millennial-focused moves Lauder has executed recently, including the acquisitions of Too Faced and Becca in 2016.