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June 20, 2018
June 20, 2018

Tengram Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in the digital-first, unicorn-loving cosmetic brand Lime Crime, with a focus on building organizational structure, hiring a leadership team, and tripling sales.

WHO: Founded by entrepreneurs Doe Deere and Mark Dumbelton in 2008, Lime Crime is a digitally native beauty brand and a cult favorite among fashion-forward beauty aficionados. For years, Lime Crime has set trends that have taken the beauty industry by storm—from its Unicorn Lipsticks in a rainbow of shades and Velvetines, to its best-selling Diamond Crushers lip toppers and, most recently, Unicorn Hair. Formulas are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, high performance and high payoff, all cutely packaged. Lime Crime is in high demand at leading retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Riley Rose, and, where it ranks as a leading color cosmetics brand, and has recently launched in the UK, originally online with Cult Beauty, and recently with FeelUnique and Selfridges. A digitally native brand, they have a powerful social media following of 4.4 million followers from across the globe.

Tengram Capital Partners is a private equity firm that focuses exclusively on leading consumer and retail companies that own strong recognizable brands. The team has a diverse background of consumer investing and operating expertise that assists and guides company management to unlock the true potential of their brand. Tengram invests in both traditional “growth” and “restructuring/turnaround” situations in either the public or private sectors. Current beauty investments for Tengram include ReVive, Algenist, Cos Bar, This Works. Prior investments include NEST Fragrances, DevaCurl, and Laura Geller Beauty.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Richard Gersten, Partner at Tengram, stated, “Lime Crime is truly unique among beauty brands, with a powerful following and a deep understanding of its consumers and their expressive approach to cosmetics. We have tremendous appreciation for what Doe, Sasha Valentine and the team have built over the past ten years: a revolutionary brand that empowers consumers to express themselves and inspires them to push past the traditional limits of beauty. In an era of beauty brand proliferation, Lime Crime’s authenticity and innovation stands above the rest. Lime Crime is a tremendous fit in our strong portfolio of beauty brands, and we look forward to leveraging our experience to help the Lime Crime team achieve its growth prospects.”

“I’m delighted to be joining the company at this pivotal moment,” said Stacy Panagakis. “Lime Crime is a millennial brand with a message that resonates with women everywhere—’it’s OK to be bold, experiment and have fun!’ The partnership with Tengram is an important next step in the brand’s evolution, bringing deep industry expertise and greater opportunities to offer unicorns and women everywhere the Lime Crime magical universe. As we expand the brand’s footprint and offerings, Lime Crime will continue to be a brand that stands apart, fulfilling its mission to revolutionize makeup, empower women and smash traditional boundaries.”

Doe expressed her enthusiasm about the investment and growth opportunities for the business. “I founded Lime Crime on the belief that beauty is a form of freedom. We should all be allowed to express ourselves unapologetically. Over the last decade, unicorns all over the globe have taken that idea and made it their own, propelling us to where we are today. I am so proud of what we’ve built together and am confident Stacy, Sasha and the team will continue to build on this foundation to take Lime Crime to a whole new level!”


  • Tengram Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Lime Crime.
  • According to WWD, industry sources estimated that the business did $30 million in net sales for 2017.
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Stacy Panagakis, formerly General Manager of Fresh, joins Lime Crime as Chief Executive Officer.
  • Lime Crime’s creative vision will continue under Ms. Panagakis, who will work alongside Chief Creative Officer Sasha Valentine, an eight-year veteran of the brand.
  • Doe Deere, Lime Crime’s co-founder and forever muse, has transitioned out of day-to-day operations and has joined the Board of Directors, where she will continue to do what she loves: explore, dream, and inspire unicorns around the world.
  • Financo advised Lime Crime on the transaction.

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