Geisha-inspired beauty business Tatcha has hired Financo to explore investment options, according to industry sources.
Based in San Francisco, the business makes primarily skin-care products, inspired the rituals of the Geisha, and is said to be looking to do a minority capital raise. Industry sources estimate the brand will bring in between $70 million and $75 million in retail sales for 2017, up from about $50 million in 2016. The business is currently backed by Beechwood Capital and Finn Capital Partners. Tatcha declined to comment. Financo did not return a call for comment.
The company has been expanding its distribution with Sephora, where it launched in 2016, and branched into Mecca Cosmetica this spring. Tatcha also sells on its own e-commerce site, QVC and Barneys New York.
Tatcha sells its skin-care products as “rituals” based on users’ skin-types — normal to oily, normal to dry, dry or sensitive. Each ritual comes with Pure One Step Camellia cleansing Oil, $48; a skin-specific Rice Enzyme Powder, $65; The Essence, $95, and a skin-type specific moisturizer. Tatcha recently launched a Violet-C Radiance Mask, $68. The brand also makes social-media favorite Dewy Skin Mist, $48, and has increased its earned media value by 49 percent (to almost $2.1 million) in the past 12 months, according to data from Tribe Dynamics.
Tatcha’s products are based on the beauty regimens of the geisha, captured in an ancient book. “Our product roadmap really is following the chapters of that book,” Vicky Tsai, founder and chief executive officer of Tatcha previously told WWD. “Chapter one is skin care, chapter two is body — there’s a lot in body we have yet to do.” Makeup, she noted, is chapter four. “I am hopping in and out of order a little bit,” Tsai added.
Outside of skin care, the brand has launched lip, with products like its Twilight A Cherry Blossom Lip Balm, $38; Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick, $55; Red Camellia Lip Balm, $38, and Sunrise: A Plum Blossom 23-Karat Gold Illuminated Lipstick, $55. It also has a primer slated to launch later this year.
The brand was started after chief executive officer Victoria Tsai, who suffered from acute dermatitis, went on a trip to Kyoto, Japan. As she told it at the WWD Beauty Summit, she was inspired by the nearly flawless skin that geisha had under their makeup. “I thought, I’ll have what she’s having, and I started using what they use,” Tsai said, at the summit. The green tea, rice and seaweed-based formulas worked for her, and those ingredients remain the focus of the brand’s formulations.
Tsai eventually found a book filled with their skin care and makeup rituals, and started making products. “This one enterprising writer wrote it down,” Tsai said. “What they were doing. We got it, and we translated it and we started it bringing it back to life.” After selling her car and engagement ring, she started the business, which builds all of its product formulations from scratch, and packages them in intricate boxes.