Lime Crime acquired by Tengram Capital Partners and now led by Stacy Panagakis

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of the brand
image courtesy of the brand
The digital-first, millennial-focused beauty and hair color brand announced the deal Monday; explaining that with the benefit of private equity funds, Panagakis will facilitate an expansion of Lime Crime into new categories and even more retail channels beyond the audacious brand’s dot-com flagship and current partners.

Investors and multinationals are buying indie brands as a matter of course these days. And in this deal, as with many, the investment is as much about consumer reach and brand DNA as it is about innovative product.

Industry insider Stacy Panagakis (most previously General Manager of Fresh) is coming on board as the new CEO of Lime Crime. “I'm delighted to be joining the company at this pivotal moment,” ​she tells the press. She officially took on the new role Monday.

“Lime Crime is a millennial brand with a message that resonates with women everywhere – 'it's OK to be bold, experiment and have fun!',”​ says Panagakis in a media release about acquisition.

“The partnership with Tengram is an important next step in the brand's evolution,” ​she believes, one that will “[bring] deep industry expertise and greater opportunities to offer unicorns and women everywhere the Lime Crime magical universe. As we expand the brand's footprint and offerings, Lime Crime will continue to be a brand that stands apart, fulfilling its mission to revolutionize makeup, empower women and smash traditional boundaries.”

Other leadership shifts

Doe Deer and Mark Dumbelton co-founded Lime Crime in 2008. Doe Deere, according to the press release, is the brand’s “forever muse.” ​Yet, she “has transitioned out of day-to-day operations and has joined the board of directors.”

Commenting on the Tengram acquisition, she says, “I founded Lime Crime on the belief that beauty is a form of freedom. We should all be allowed to express ourselves unapologetically. Over the last decade, unicorns all over the globe have taken that idea and made it their own, propelling us to where we are today. I am so proud of what we've built together and am confident Stacy, Sasha and the team will continue to build on this foundation to take Lime Crime to a whole new level!”

The brand has recently been making changes to be more conventionally, commercially acceptable. And long-time Lime Crime detractors are optimistic that the Tengram deal and Doe Deer’s new role are just the update the brand needs. Read more about that in Cheryl Wischhover’s article for Racked here.

The Sasha that Doe Deer is referring to in the proceeding remarks is Sasha Valentine, chief creative officer of the brand, who has been with Lime Crime for 8 years and will continue on, now collaborating with Panagakis.

A foundation for growth

According to Tengram partner Richard Gersten, the value the brand’s DNA as well as its consumer and social following figured significantly into the deal. “Lime Crime is truly unique among beauty brands, with a powerful following and a deep understanding of its consumers and their expressive approach to cosmetics,” ​he says.

Gersten goes on, “we have tremendous appreciation for what Doe, Sasha Valentine and the team have built over the past ten years: a revolutionary brand that empowers consumers to express themselves and inspires them to push past the traditional limits of beauty. In an era of beauty brand proliferation, Lime Crime's authenticity and innovation stands above the rest.”

“We look forward to leveraging our experience to help the Lime Crime team achieve its growth prospects,” ​concludes Gersten.



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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