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True Beauty Ventures Closes $42 Million Fund

August 04, 2021 BeautyMatter
August 04, 2021
Mackenzie Marco via Unsplash

True Beauty Ventures, the early-stage investment fund founded by Rich Gersten and Cristina Nuñez, has closed its first fund with more than $42 million backed by beauty founders and executives. Gersten and Nuñez are both seasoned beauty veterans and first-time fund managers, who pulled from their pool of industry contacts to raise the fund.

WHO: True Beauty Ventures pursues $1-5 million investments in beauty, wellness, and personal care brands seeking a partnership anchored in strategic and operational sector expertise. Partners Rich Gersten and Cristina Nuñez have extensive investing and operating experience that allows them to identify winning brands at an inflection point of breakout growth and help them scale and exit successfully. As sector specialists, True Beauty has the flexibility to invest across multiple growth stages, from Seed to Series C.

WHY: True Beauty Ventures’ debut fund demonstrates the power and demand for sector specialization, bringing decades of beauty sector expertise to early-stage beauty, wellness, and personal care brands.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "We launched True Beauty to leverage our unique beauty-focused investing and operating experience and the extensive beauty ecosystem I had built over many years. That is our unfair advantage," said Rich Gersten, co-founder and Managing Partner. "We connect with our founders on a deeper level because we truly understand their businesses and can help accelerate growth, while avoiding costly mistakes along the way."

Éva Goicochea, founder and CEO of Maude, said "True Beauty fundamentally understands both the art and the science to building impactful, world-changing brands. Cristina and Rich's thoughtful approach and deep expertise in beauty and personal care make them additive and unparalleled partners throughout the journey of building the business and Maude is proud to have them leading the way with us."

"Together Rich and Cristina bring a wealth of knowledge and know-how, they have unique insights and actively roll up their sleeves to help execute on critical path objectives," said Britta Cox, co-founder of Aquis and K18.

"Rich and Cristina make for an exceptional beauty investing combo. Their belief in purpose-led businesses and in unique insights that challenge the status quo—besides a continued focus on founders' strength versus weakness—makes them an ideal partner particularly for ego-free founders driven by impact and outcomes," said Suveen Sahib, co-founder of Aquis and K18.

“As a Latinx female Co-Founder and General Partner, I am part of the 2.4% of US-based VC founding partners who are women, a staggering statistic reported by Women in VC," said Cristina Nuñez. "We need people on both sides of the table, the investment decision makers and the brand founders, to reflect the markets they serve. To date, I am proud that our firm is majority female and over 80% of our current portfolio companies have women or minority founders.”

DETAILS:

  • True Beauty Ventures closed a $42 million fund above the original $30 million target.
  • The fund is supported by a diverse and strategic LP base, including beauty founders and executives, financial institutions, and family offices. Investors include Image Skincare founder Janna Ronert, Astral Brands Chief Executive Officer Robert Cohen, Andalou Naturals founder Stacey Egide, Liz and Mark Scott of distributor EC Scott Group, Warren Becker of Cosmetic Solutions, Revive CEO Elana Drell Szyfer, former Neiman Marcus executive Kelly St. John, Bona-Fide Beauty co-founder Pamela Baxter, L'Oréal Executive Vice President of Business Development Roger Dolden, and OneSpaWorld chairman Leonard Fluxman.
  • The fund plans to make between 10 to 12 investments and, to date, has invested in Aquis and K18, Kinship, Feals, Crown Affair, Maude, and a pre-launch clean makeup brand.
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