Pai Skincare

London-based Pai Skincare has secured $4.5 million in venture capital funding led by CAP Invest.

Pai makes a full skin-care range of cleansers, moisturizers, toners, serums, masks and exfoliators for sensitive skin. Items are priced from about $15-$90, and focus on specific skin concerns like redness, aging, blemishes, eczema and dryness. The products are certified organic and sold in health stores, beauty boutiques and spas, including Mademoiselle Bio, Credo, Follain, Cap Beauty, Shen Beauty, Violet Grey, Free People and Whole Foods.

The line was founded by Sarah Brown in 2007, who back then, was making products by hand in her converted West London garage. According to Brown, the investment will allow Pai to expand to more people who have sensitive skin.

“Pai has a clear sense of direction, and successfully differentiates itself in the market,” said CAP Invest president Thomas Riccobono. “The honesty and integrity of the brand especially resonated with me. It extends beyond the beauty category, and operates in that wellness and healthy lifestyle space, which I found to be a refreshing approach.”

Pai is planning to double down on e-commerce with the new capital. That includes hiring either a chief technology officer or head of e-commerce to expand global operations. Right now, Pai is available in six countries — but the company is planning online stores in Asia.

Pai is one of several beauty companies that have attracted investor interest recently. Last week, Ares Management announced plans to buy Tengram Capital-backed Devacurl; In April, Context secured a Series A round from Volta Global; and in November, Glossier raised $24 million in a Series B round.

The deals come in a busy beauty M&A environment, where category growth continues to spur transactions. While in 2016 the makeup category saw most of the M&A action, financial sources have said they expect that activity to spread to other categories, like skin care and hair care, for 2017.

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