L Catterton, known as the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, is a partnership between Catterton, LVMH, and Groupe Arnault.
“The breadth of our collective expertise will be second to none in the consumer industry,” J. Michael Chu, now the group’s co-CEO, told the press early last year when L Catterton was formed. “And we look forward to benefitting from the strength and global reach of the team…as we continue to seek out investment opportunities with significant growth potential,” added Chu.
The complete line of TULA skin care is formulated with probiotics. It’s a collection envisioned by the company’s founders—gastroenterologist and wellness expert Dr. Roshini Raj; Ken Landis, formerly of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics; and tech entrepreneur Dan Reich—to balance the skin with the biology and technology of so-called good bacteria.
“TULA appealed to us because it is the first premium beauty brand to leverage probiotics across its entire product line," explains Jon Owsley, co-managing partner of the L Catterton Growth Fund, in a press release about the new investment.
"We see a tremendous opportunity to accelerate TULA's growth by capitalizing on its innovative formulations, strong relationship with QVC, distinctive and digital-first positioning, and talented management team,” says Owsley, adding, “We look forward to leveraging our experience to help drive TULA's success for years to come.”
Owsley mentions QVC because that’s where the indie brand launched. “In 2016, TULA generated a 78% increase in distinct customers, exceeding our expectations," notes Rachel Ungaro, vice president of buying for apparel, accessories, beauty, and jewelry at QVC. "TULA has also generated an impressive following on Beauty iQ, QVC's new multiplatform network dedicated to beauty lovers, as one of a select group of brands providing a discovery experience on the platform," says Ungaro in the release about the L Catterton deal.
While the terms of the deal were not made public, L Catterton’s past performance (along with the growing trend for topical probiotics and personal care that works in harmony with the skin’s microbiome) suggests the TULA investment is a wise one. The firm has previously invested in beauty brands including Bliss, Cover FX, Frederic Fekkai, and StriVectin.
"We are very excited to work with L Catterton as we continue our rapid expansion to become the leader in probiotic skincare," Julia Straus, CEO of TULA, tells the press.
"With the support of L Catterton, we are excited to reach even more consumers through QVC's multi-platform retail model, our own direct channel, and unique partnerships with retailers like SpaceNK. L Catterton brings deep knowledge of the consumer space and an unparalleled track record helping boutique beauty brands thrive and grow. We are confident they will be an excellent long term partner for TULA," says Straus.