$15 million in funding for Herbivore means more cooks in the kitchen

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

photo courtesy of Herbivore
photo courtesy of Herbivore

Related tags capital investment firm clean beauty

Thanks to this month’s deal with Silas Capital and Stage 1 Fund, the skin care brand that Julia Wills and Alex Kummerow started in their Seattle, Washington, kitchen eight years ago is about to grow exponentially. And the day-to-day operations of the business are about to get an infusion of hands-on help.

Every investment deal is a business relationship—emphasis on relationship. And Herbivore’s new partners promise to be very proactive, participating in the brand’s business to ensure that it grows.

Stage 1 Fund explains on its site what distinguishes the fund from seemingly similar “traditional funds”​ saying, “What traditional funds are lacking is the ability to provide a dedicated staff that work in each particular business model, every day, on the ground floor. Stage 1 Fund treats it partners with as much dedication and resources as a middle market buyout fund.”

A co-investing deal

The Stage 1 Fund business really centers on this hands-on approach to growth. The fund is a sibling business of Stage 1 Financial and specializes in co-investing in brands in cooperation with outside venture capital or private equity firms.  

In this deal, Stage 1 Fund is co-investing in Herbivore with Silas Capital, who led the round. “Having bootstrapped the business to date, we are eager to leverage this capital infusion to expand our manufacturing capabilities and increase brand awareness through digital and in-store marketing,”​ Alex Kummerow, co-CEO of Herbivore tells the press.

Julia Wills, co-CEO, concurs saying, “This is a tremendously exciting time for Herbivore. With Silas and Stage 1 Fund on board, along with our highly talented and growing executive leadership team and staff, we are well-positioned for strategic and meaningful growth as we continue to solidify our standing as a category leader in clean skincare.”

Clean beauty expansion

Herbivore’s current portfolio of skin care, bath and body care, grooming products, and fragrance is nearly 40 products deep. And on the shelf (500+ doors globally) and online (450K followers on Instagram) Herbivore is recognizable for its simple clear glass bottles and jars that showcase its tastefully colored products like as many gems. It’s here that the brand hope to grow so-called clean beauty further: “Skincare was the initial category to embrace clean beauty, and Herbivore was one of the original brands helping to pioneer that movement,” ​asserts Kummerow in his remarks to the press.

Silas Capital’s’ investment signals the firm’s belief in Herbivore’s prominence in the clean beauty space and, of course, in the brand’s potential to reach more consumers through more channels (and likely with more products as well). “Silas focuses on category leading brands within the emerging growth segment of the consumer landscape,” ​according Herbivore’s media release about this month’s deal. “The firm not only invests capital to help these companies grow, but also brings significant resources and capabilities to actively assist in company growth through their expertise in e-commerce and digital expansion, alongside their knowledge of traditional wholesale and retail channels.”



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com 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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