Birchbox announced the sale of its French subsidiary to its two co-founders Quentin Reygrobellet and Martin Balas in partnership with Otium Capital investment fund.
WHO: Birchbox, founded in 2010 by Harvard Business alums Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, was a pioneer in subscription commerce. In 2011 the business went international, merging with competitor JolieBox created by Quentin Reygrobellet and Martin Balas.
Otium Capital is a family office of French entrepreneur Pierre-Edouard Stérin, the founder of SmartBox Group, a pan-European company in which he still holds more than 90% of the capital. Otium Capital invests the dividends of SmartBox Group into diverse entrepreneurial projects and rests on the principles of risk-taking and ambition. The firm’s other beauty-related investments have been in companies such as Même, Laboté, Oh My Cream.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Within the booming digital beauty market, Birchbox has been and remains the player with the fastest growth rate in France,” with revenue rising by 20% in 2019, said Reygrobellet in a press release.
- Birchbox France has been acquired by its co-founders Quentin Reygrobellet and Martin Balas, and Otium Capital, from Birchbox US.
- Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Birchbox France, 60% of whose revenue comes from a base of over 220,000 monthly subscribers and 40% from its e-tail site, has been profitable since 2016, according to the company.
- Last year Birchbox France sent out 3 million beauty boxes to 1.2 million clients and works with 300 brands.
- The independent company’s “first project” will be rebranding. The company holds the license to use the Birchbox brand in France for 18 months.
- In 2020, the company plans to expand in Europe, and is also working to deploy “premium” services over the course of the year.
- According to WWD, CEO and Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp plans to funnel “significant” proceeds from the sale of the French business into growth, including the growth of Birchbox-owned brands.
Photo: via Birchbox