Influencer Tina Craig’s U Beauty secures minority investment
Sandbridge Capital, the Los Angeles-based growth equity firm that has also invested in beauty upstarts Youth to the People, Ilia and Peach & Lily, is backing the influencer’s skincare brand.
10 June 2022
U Beauty, the premium skincare brand launched by influencer Tina Craig and friend Katie Borghese, has received a minority investment from Sandbridge Capital, a consumer goods focused private equity firm who took early stakes in Thom Browne, Farfetch and The RealReal.
The undisclosed figure will be used to fund the launch of new product categories and accelerate sales online and in stores, the brand said in a statement today.
U Beauty’s position at the interaction of luxury beauty and “science-driven efficacy” appealed to Sandbridge Capital, according to founder and managing partner Ken Suslow. U Beauty sells at over 100 retailers including launch partner Net-a-Porter, where its hero product, the £138 Resurfacing Compound, sold out in less than two weeks, Violet Grey, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Los-Angeles based growth equity firm has a track record backing buzzy beauty upstarts including Youth to the People, Ilia and Peach & Lily. This is U Beauty’s first investment. The brand’s revenues are expected to surpass $15 million in 2022, according to a source close to the company.
Borghese and Craig — who rose to fame as an early fashion influencer with her account Bag Snob and counts over 511,000 followers on Instagram — invested in selective sampling, rather than paid marketing and traditional channels like department stores, to grow the company and recruit a loyal customer base. They started in 2019, just before the pandemic. “We really believed in what I call ‘the key opinion consumer’, because whether they had 500 or 5,000 friends on social media, they would be able to relay our story to their friends,” Craig previously told Vogue Business.
“For a founder, finding the right growth partner is a gruelling process,” says Craig, who is also the brand’s chief creative officer. “But, from our very first conversation with Ken and his team, there was a natural affinity — personal, professional, and strategic — between U Beauty and Sandbridge that made our partnership feel like an inevitability.” Both companies also share a fundamental perspective that there are no shortcuts to long-term brand-building, she adds.
Sandbridge Capital’s Suslow said it will build on U Beauty’s authentically modern, clean beauty approach and differentiated brand positioning. “We are excited to contribute our experience in helping to build enduringly successful global brands in support of U Beauty’s demonstrably strong foundation.”
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