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Published August 5, 2020
Published August 5, 2020

Nine-month-old clean beauty brand Saie announced a seed funding round led by previous investor Unilever Ventures with participation from Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and CEO of Goop.

WHO: Having spent five years as an executive at Estée Lauder, and founding her own wellness website The Moment, Laney Crowell launched clean beauty brand Saie inspired by the lack of makeup products in the beauty closet to feature on her blog. The brand launched in November 2019 with four accessible hero products: a mascara, brow gel, lip balm, and eyelash curler, based on the key pillars of clean formulations, sustainability, and transparency. The brand has also released lipgloss, highlighters, and “Glowy Super Gel,” a sheer, sparkle-free illuminating product. Saie is currently sold on its own e-commerce site, as well as on and, with plans to launch with U.K.-based Cult Beauty in September.

WHY: The round will be used to support Saie’s future product launches along with new marketing initiatives and distribution expansion plans.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “I wanted Saie products to be the things people needed but couldn’t find clean alternatives for, things like mascara, lip gloss, and highlighter,” Crowell explained to Vogue. “And then we decided to take it a step further, and make products that aren’t just exciting in the clean world, but that disrupts all of beauty with highlighters that aren’t strobey, just simply cool: lip gloss that’s a treatment too; mascara that gives you that superchic look and is crazy nourishing.”

“We launched exclusively with Goop, so when Gwyneth personally expressed interest it was obviously so flattering and really exciting because she really understands clean and health. Those things are so important to us,” Crowell said to WWD.

Rachel Harris, director at Unilever Ventures, told Glossy, “It has been wonderful to be on this journey with Laney from the very start … We are pleased to continue to support the exciting future plans for the brand.”


  • Saie raised a seed round of funding led by Unilever Ventures; Gwyneth Paltrow, G9 Ventures, which has invested in Kosas and Westman Atelier; and Stage 1, which invested in Herbivore and Ellis Brooklyn. The amount of the seed round was not disclosed
  • The brand says it is exceeding expectations beating its own sales expectations by 200%, and that 20% of e-commerce customers are repeat customers.
  • Currently, most of Saie’s revenues come from its website, and it plans “a targeted and purposeful rollout” in retail at some point in 2021.
  • In July, Saie launched Saie Concierge, a one-to-one customer service text line, and introduced a TikTok ambassador program. It has also used its private Facebook group of 800 members and its Instagram community, where it has 42,600 followers, to inform product development (as with its latest Sunglow launch) and creative assets.
  • In August 2019 the brand raised a pre-seed round of funding for product development from April Gargiulo, founder of cult skincare brand Vintner’s Daughter, Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, and LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel and Unilever Ventures. The amount of the pre-seed investment was not disclosed.
  • Crowell began by recruiting some of her former Estée Lauder team members, including Sarah Tallman to lead product development, who was already on a personal journey toward clean living after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and Tina Gu to oversee finance and business development. Crowell also enlisted the help of her friend and wellness influencer Geri Hirsch as creative director.

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