Serial entrepreneur Katherine Power has raised a $20 million Series A led by L Catterton for Merit, her make-up model that’s offered on-line and at Sephora.
Marcy Ventures and Sonoma Brands additionally invested within the spherical.
Power launched Merit in early 2021, throughout the pandemic, and mentioned that she plans to make use of the funding to propel the model’s progress, together with a fast rollout into retail. Merit’s minimalist merchandise are supposed to permit individuals to create a complete make-up look in 5 minutes, and are positioned as luxurious for much less — all inventory maintaining items are priced underneath $38.
“When it came to their beauty routines, we had a year where we got used to our natural hair texture and bare nails and lost the eyelash extensions and we were just on Zoom and we really just wanted to look like ourselves but better,” Power, Merit’s chief govt officer, mentioned on a Zoom name. “We launched in January, which I think is historically not usually a time that you launch a new brand, but it just felt right to us, it just felt like a fresh start. It’s that time where you sort of reevaluate everything that you do and everything you put in your body and on your body.”
“It exceeded every expectation,” Power mentioned of the launch.
Merit’s common order quantity is $90 on its web site, in keeping with the model, and on launch day, offered one product each 17 seconds. Broadly, “clean” make-up is trending, with different manufacturers like Gucci Westman’s Westman Atelier, Ilia and Saie garnering gross sales and a spotlight.
“We did see such traction and momentum so quickly.…We really wanted to take advantage of that and start investing in growth in our entire omnichannel strategy,” Power mentioned.
By the tip of 2021, Power mentioned the model can be in additional than 800 brick-and-mortar doorways, together with Sephora U.S., Sephora Canada and Sephora at Kohl’s.
“That’s just in our first full year, so that’s a very aggressive rollout for a start-up, and we want to be able to take advantage of all the marketing opportunities and shelf space that we’ve been given,” Power mentioned.
“Everything we launch from here on out will be developed through the lens of minimalism,” Power mentioned. “In color cosmetics, but also entering other categories of this consumer’s life.”
Merit plan to develop into equipment, hair, perfume and skincare, in keeping with a press release from the corporate. Power mentioned the enterprise will keep in “beauty and self care.”
Merit is only one of Power’s many initiatives. She based Who What Wear, debuted fashionable skincare model Versed in 2019, and in 2020, partnered with Cameron Diaz for wine enterprise Avaline.
At the identical time, Power partnered with Greycroft managing companion Dana Settle to launch a particular function acquisition car, which hit the general public markets earlier this 12 months. The SPAC, named Powered Brands, has but to make any acquisitions — however Power says she’s engaged on it. The enterprise simply employed former Shiseido vice chairman of worldwide M&A Mito Yamada as chief working officer.
“She has tremendous experience in M&A, having done that for about five years, but she’s incredibly strategic and thinks like an operator,” Power mentioned. “When it comes to thinking about building out a business, she can think about both vision and strategy, as well as how to execute it.”
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