Beauty has become a hotbed of investor activity in recent years, resulting in unprecedented innovation and growth across the industry...and leaving many brand founders hungry for information on how they can get in on the action. BeautyX Capital explores the current investment landscape, explains the range of funding options available to brands and provides beauty and wellness entrepreneurs with the tools they need to seize this opportunity.
BeautyX hosts a group of top beauty investors, brand founders and industry experts. Sign up to our newsletter and stay tuned as we announce speakers for our upcoming BeautyX Capital Summit!
Tengram Capital Partners
Founder & CEO
Norwest Venture Partners
Chief Accelerator Director
The Lubrizol Corp.
Founder & COO
Richard Gersten is a Partner of Tengram Capital Partners, a consumer private equity firm formed to invest in the consumer and retail sectors. Mr. Gersten has over 25 years of experience in the private equity industry and has spent the last 19 years focused exclusively on the consumer and retail sector, with an emphasis in the beauty and personal care industry. He currently sits on the board of directors of Algenist, Cos Bar, This Works and NEST Fragrances and formerly sat on the board of directors for Deva Curl and Laura Geller Beauty.
Janet Gurwitch is an operating partner with Castanea, a Boston-based private equity firm, with focus on the beauty consumer space.
Gurwitch is the founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics & Skincare, a global brand of high-end niche cosmetics. Prior to founding Laura Mercier, Janet Gurwitch was the Executive Vice President of Neiman Marcus, where she established the merchandising strategy from 1992-1995.
Today, Gurwitch is an investor in and on the boards of Drybar and Tatcha. She formerly served on the boards of Dollar Shave Club, Urban Decay Cosmetics and First Aid Beauty.
Tina Bou-Saba is the founder of CXT Investments, a seed fund that stands at the intersection of consumer and technology. Tina has invested in over 30 early-stage companies, with a focus on the beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, and consumer technology categories. Through CXT, she supports exceptional, diverse founders who are attacking high-potential opportunities in large but under-served markets, disrupting legacy brands and business models, and building passionate customer communities.
Oakland native Diishan Imira believes in delivering quality products to consumers and empowering his community. Founded in 2013, Mayvenn has generated over $80 million in revenue and recently closed its series B round with a $23 million investment.
As a General Partner at Norwest, Sonya is focused on investing across a wide range of sectors including information services, software, business services, financial services and consumer. Her current investments include Bailey 44, Jolyn, Junk King, and Kendra Scott (recapitalized by Berkshire Partners). Sonya is responsible for Norwest’s investments in PCA Skin (acquired by Colgate-Palmolive) and The Learning Experience (acquired by Golden Gate Capital). She is also a board observer at Madison Reed.
Sonya was previously at Summit Partners, a private equity firm with over $11 billion under management, where she worked for nine years in the Boston office and was responsible for leading the firm’s Consumer and Internet Industry Group in North America.
As Managing Partner, Julian oversees investments for ACG and currently sits on the Boards of The Honest Kitchen, Tata Harper, NUDESTIX, Pacifica, Clio, Way Better Snacks, and Milk Makeup.In 2015, he was named to Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, and also one of the top “40 Under 40” investors in growth equity.
Elizabeth invests in multiple clean beauty, skincare, haircare, and food companies. She is the founder and General Partner of H Venture Partners, a seed, venture and early growth equity fund that invests in iconic consumer brands across the US and Canada. H Venture Partners focuses on purpose-driven brandsthat are better for human healthand the environment.
Over the course of his 15-year career, Mr. Rousselle has been successful in both transactional and operating positions. His advisory experience includes roles at successful independent boutiques and larger firms prior to William Hood & Company, including Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Moelis & Company in both London and New York. Mr. Rousselle’s operating experience consists of 5 years at The Estée Lauder Companies where he held leadership roles in the New Business Development / M&A team and in MAC Cosmetics’ Strategy and Finance team.
Mr. Rousselle’s notable Consumer Beauty & Personal Care experience includes the carveout of RoC Skincare from Johnson & Johnson by Gryphon Investors, The Estée Lauder Companies’ acquisition of GLAMGLOW, Coty’s acquisition of OPI and the Estée Lauder Companies’ acquisition of Smashbox.
Brandon L. Ford is the Chief Accelerator Director for the Brand Accelerator Program at The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. The accelerator leverages Lubrizol technology, manufacturing, and skin science expertise to provide market ready product and brand development to beauty brands. Brandon is responsible for the growth and strategy of the program and its strategic investment initiatives.
Ms. Barker brings transactional and operational experience to her current role as an Advisor with Michel Dyens & Co where she’s focused on clients in the beauty, wellness, retail and premium branded consumer goods sectors. Ms. Barker joined Michel Dyens & Co from Estée Lauder where she was an Executive Director within the group’s New Business Development group. While at Estée Lauder, Ms. Barker led process management and the strategic review of acquisitions and investments in new brands, including the group’s acquisitions of Becca Cosmetics and Too Faced. Prior to working at Estée Lauder, Ms. Barker was a Vice President within Deutsche Bank’s Global Consumer Retail division where she managed several buy and sell side transaction processes and provided financing advisory services for leading multinational firms.
Rob Rosenberg has spent his career at the nexus of entrepreneurship, innovation, and investing. Before joining Prolog Ventures as a Partner, he was the SVP of EyeNetra, a VC-funded spinout of the MIT Media Lab, and CEO of ShopWell, a spinout from IDEO which he guided to its acquisition by HarvestMark. He also founded Fast Forward Ventures, an advisory firm focused on commercializing innovation. Previously, Rob was a founding partner of New Venture Partners, a $700 million VC firm dedicated to funding corporate technology spin-outs. During his tenure there, he served on many boards including Internet Photonics (acquired by Ciena), Liquavista B.V. (acquired by Samsung), and Vidus (acquired by @Road).
Rob holds a BA, magna cum laude, in Computer Science and Psychology from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, where he was a Baker Scholar.
Pat Robinson is a Managing Director at CircleUp Growth Partners, an early stage venture capital fund focused on the consumer industry. At CircleUp, Pat focuses on investing in high growth consumer product companies in the personal care and beauty sector as well as food and beverage. During his time at CircleUp, Pat has partnered with high growth beauty brands like Kosas Cosmetics, Heyday Skincare, Winky Lux, and Function of Beauty.
Sarah Brown started Pai in 2007 driven by a personal mission to help sensitive skin sufferers worldwide. A business that started with £15,000 in a London garage now employs 45 people and is sold in 24 countries. Sarah is an active supporter of the organic beauty industry and an exponent of manufacturing. In 2015 Sarah won ‘First Woman in Manufacturing’ at the CBI’s (Confederation of British Industry) First Women Awards. In 2016 Pai was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. Sarah is an Executive Board member of CEW UK.
Annie began her career in the luxury personal care category with her first job at Estee Lauder. In 1998, after 6 years at Estee Lauder, Annie was recruited by Steve Bock to be one of the early members of the team that launched Sephora USA, a newly created division of LVMH, in her initial role in Inventory Planning, and eventually the Director of Merchandising. In 2002, after 5 years at Sephora, Annie held different roles outside of cosmetics as the VP, DMM of textiles at Restoration Hardware as well as owning her own retail business. Eventually, Annie returned to cosmetics in Global Product Marketing for Benefit Cosmetics where she learned the fundamentals of product development, supply chain management and brand marketing from a leading personal care organization.
In 2011, Annie returned to her Sephora roots, in merchandising for color cosmetics at Sephora inside JC Penney and was able to leverage both her branding and merchant skills. Annie has had the rare privilege of working closely with brands from ‘concept to customer’, leading multiple teams whose responsibilities spanned from creative product ideation to in-store merchandising and promotions.
In 2013, Annie joined Shashi Batra in co-founding Credo. Credo’s mission is to change the way people think about the products they use every day.
Dawn who joined Credo as CEO in 2018, has more than25 years of experience in retail and e-commerce from larger companies like The Gap, Old Navy and Charlotte Russe, to smaller start-ups in the digital and retail space. She launched and ran OldNavy.com from inception toover $200 million in sales and grew the team to over 60.
David Fife is a Managing Partner of San Francisco based NextWorld Evergreen Fund, an investment partnership providing a unique type of long-term unconstrained growth capital to the retail & consumer products sector. Mr. Fife oversees the firm’s sourcing & investment activities, serving on both the firm’s investment & management committees. The firm invests across the entire consumer ecosystem with specific focus around food & beverage, beauty, personal care, and health & wellness. Current investments include Credo Beauty, Alter Eco Foods, and Smith Teamaker. Previous investments include La Boulange (sold to Starbucks Corp) and Mightly Leaf Tea (Sold to Peet’s Coffee & Tea).
Mr. Fife is currently on the board of directors of both Alter Eco Foods and Credo Beauty. Previously, Mr. Fife was a Managing Partner at Sandbridge Capital in New York & Los Angeles. Mr. Fife began his career at investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. He has a BA from Duke University and an MA from Columbia University.
Claire McCormack creates content and directs strategy for BeautyX Summit and Beauty Independent. Prior to joining IBMG, Claire was a founding member of luxury beauty e-commerce and content site Travel Beauty. Her writing has appeared on Huffington Post, Charlotte’s Book, Yahoo Beauty and more.
Paul Potorti is a member of Indie Beauty Media Group’s Education + Thought Leadership Team. He is a communication specialist, focusing on interpersonal and presentational speaking.
Chris is a member of the Education + Thought Leadership Team of the Indie Beauty Media Group. As a magazine and new media specialist, he develops business and content strategies for Beauty Independent and BeautyX Summits. He is keenly interested in consumer behavior, choice architecture and decision-making.
An entrepreneur and management expert, Nader brings a successful track record of building and launching highly scalable businesses. As Co-Founder of Indie Beauty Media Group, he believes in the success of indie beauty entrepreneurs.
Rachel is Editor in Chief of IBMG’s digital publication, Beauty Independent. As the former west coast editor at WWD, Rachel has followed indie brands and founders, fueling her belief that indie brands warrant their own media platform.
Elena DiGiovanni is a strategy and corporate development professional at Indie Beauty Media Group. She has experience from early and late-stage venture capital, growth equity, and private equity to public equity and derivatives.
Nicole Massimi is a strategic expert to beauty brands and their investors. She has held positions as Head of Global Sales for Birchbox and the Birchbox incubator for in-house brands. She serves as an advisor for start-up and growth stage beauty brands as well as an angel investor.
Ed Wong, Principal at TSG Consumer Partners, is involved in originating and structuring new investments opportunities. Ed has been focused on consumer, retail and media sectors. Before joining TSG Consumer Partners, he was with Falconhead Capital, a private equity fund.
Partner and Managing Director at Beechwood Capital, an investment group that identifies and invests in lower middle market growth stage companies. Kahn utilizes his over 20+ years of experience both as an operator and investor to help portfolio companies build value and competitive advantage. His investments in the beauty and personal care space include Japanese-inspired luxury brand Tatcha, prestige beauty content and commerce platform Violet Grey, and celebrity esthetician Shani Darden’s eponymous skincare line.
Anu is the Founding Partner of Female Founders Fund, an early-stage fund investing in technology companies started by women. Female Founders Fund has invested in some of the fastest growing female-led start-ups nationwide including: Eloquii, WayUp, Tala, Zola, Primary, Thrive Global, WinkyLux, Billie and more. In 2018, Anu was included in Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list, and she has been praised for her impact in diversifying venture capital with additional distinctions including Business Insider’s “Ultimate List of Female Startup Investors,” and “Top 4 Venture Firms Investing in Women”. Anu began her tech career as a co-founder of Exclusively.in, a private sale e-commerce company backed by Accel & Tiger which was acquired by Myntra. She is a Board Observer for ELOQUII, Maven Clinic, and Landit, and a Board Member for WinkyLux and The Rubin Museum of Art. She holds an MBA from London Business School and a BA from Vassar College.
Passionate about healthy and sustainable living practices, Azra formed Terra & Co along with her sister Amra. Their mission is to create natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free products for oral hygiene. Prior to the company’s launch in 2017, the two sisters have accumulated more than two decades of combined experience in the beauty and cosmetics industry, working for many high-end lines such as Chanel, Dior, and Bobbi Brown to multiple successful start-up companies.
Serial entrepreneur David Chung is a retailer, brand builder, and manufacturer with over 30 years in the fashion and beauty industries. After launching a fashion and beauty importing business, David launched two beauty retailers—Mona’s and Cosmetic World, which he expanded to 7 locations within California. In 2003, David launched prestige skincare Line 3LAB, a best seller at Barney’s within a year of launch. Unsatisfied with his experience with his contracting manufacturers, David established Englewood Lab, a state of the art research and development facility which services over 100 prestige beauty brands. He has also launched clean skincare line Farmacy Beauty. David’s next entrepreneurial endeavor is iLABS, which seeks to create alliances between the most creative chemists and scientists around the world, with innovative beauty brand founders.
Cyo Ray Nystrom is CEO and co-founder of Quim, a self-care line for “humans with vaginas and humans without vaginas who love vaginas”. After over a decade of enduring recurrent vaginal health issues, she left her role as the Head of Sales at Meadow and partnered with Rachel Washtien, to launch a plant-based intimate wellness company aimed towards empowering women to take charge of their vaginal health in sustainable ways.
Since launching their first product, Intimate Oil, in April of 2017, they’ve expanded distribution throughout all of California, launched two new products, secured a temporary license to manufacture cannabis products, closed nearly $1M in seed funding, and have garnered the attention of national media outlets such as Viceland TV, The Atlantic, Refinery29, and Conde Nast.
During her career in finance, Niye felt a strong pull to return to her first love, beauty. In 2015, after learning there was a market void in the beauty industry in regards to inclusivity, Niye decided to create a brand that caters to everyone – hence the brand’s motto, “Beauty For All.”
Forbes 30 Under 30, the CEO of Dame Products and a credentialed sexologist, Alexandra Fine is a lifelong student of sexual health. After earning her Masters in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in sex therapy from Columbia, Fine decided to lend her passion and expertise to the world of sextech.
She co-founded Dame Products to start necessary conversations, to listen rather than assume, and to create products that enhance intimacy. In just five years, Dame Products and its meticulously engineered vibrators have been met with critical and popular acclaim, earning praise in outlets including New York Times, Forbes, Wired, The Today Show and most recently BBC.
Francesco Clark founded Clark’s Botanicals after a spinal cord injury left him unable to sweat out toxins, leaving his skin became congested, dull and inflamed. Enlisting the help of his father, an MD and homeopathic doctor, the pair strategically combined nature’s most effective plant extracts with the very best of science to bring Francesco’s skin back to life.
Editor In Chief
Co-Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
Education + Thought Leadership
Indie Beauty Media Group
Group President of Acquisitions
Education + Thought Leadership
Indie Beauty Media Group
Founder & CEO
Education + Thought Leadership
Indie Beauty Media Group
Norwest Venture Partners
H Venture Partners
Partner & Managing Director
CircleUp Growth Partners
TSG Consumer Partners
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