The interest in direct-to-consumer brands and customization continues with organic perfumer Skylar Body becoming the latest brand investors are banking on for a big win. Upfront Ventures led a $3 million first-round investment with participation from serial entrepreneur-turned-investor Brian Lee and other top-tier Los Angeles-based investors.
WHO: Skylar Body launched eight moths ago as a direct-to-consumer, customized natural fragrance brand. The initial assortment consists of four scents, Coral, Arrow, Meadow, and Isle, priced at $78 that are intended be mixed and matched for personalization. Founder and chief executive, Cat Chen, has experience in the direct-to-consumer, clean beauty world from her time at Honest. For the moment the brand is focused solely on building a direct-to-consumer brand, but future wholesale and online expansion is not off the table.
WHY: Funds are earmarked for product expansion, digital marketing, and hiring a team.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We’re less than a year old, [so] definitely a lot of women don’t know about us and awareness is [our] biggest opportunity and what we’ll be doing with this fund-raiser,” Chen told WWD. “In the future, we’ll expand into adjacent product categories [and do] the same thing in the scented space and natural space, so home fragrance and personal care are the additional categories we’ll be thinking about.”
“It’s rare that we see a commerce category that so clearly leverages strong market trends with this type of high margin, high repeat rate unit economics,” said Kara Nortman, Upfront Ventures partner, in a statement. “[And] Cat Chen represents everything we look for in a founder. Cat is a triple threat with an unfair advantage in audience building, supply chain, and unusual access to the best local talent across both product and technology coming out of her years at Honest.”
- Upfront Ventures led a $3 million first round of financing for Skylar Body.
- In the eight months since launch the brand has picked up 10,000 customers.
- According to TechCrunch the Los Angeles investment community is rallying behind Chen and her business. Brian Lee, Amplify, Upfront Ventures, Kaktus Capital (founded by ex-NastyGal executive Deborah Benton), and Brilliant Ventures are all investors in Skylar Body.
- Brian Lee, who made his name (and his fortune) in the LA technology start-up scene as a founder of LegalZoom, ShoeDazzle, and The Honest Co., was the original backer for Skylar Body.
- According to Crunchbase, Skylar Body raised an undisclosed amount in a convertible note from Amplify.LA.
Photo: via Skylar Body