True has led an investment of over £1 million into a London-based men’s makeup brand, War Paint, co-investing with Redrice Ventures, led by Partner Robert Senior, the former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, and other angel investors.
WHO: War Paint was founded by Danny Gray in 2018 and born out of his own experience of being bullied for his acne as a teenager, which led him to start using his sister’s concealer and foundation to give himself confidence. Since launch, the business has attracted a highly diverse customer base and shown that men of all ages face similar issues in all walks of life. The business is the first men’s makeup brand to have a fully stocked men’s makeup counter within the men’s section of major retailers such as John Lewis, Mr Porter, and Harvey Nichols, selling more than 50,000 units globally.
True is Europe’s only vertically integrated retail and consumer innovation and investment firm with a unique business model, which is an innovation hub that engages dynamic founders in the sector as well as a partnership program that includes leading players such as John Lewis & Partners, Abercrombie & Fitch, TJX, and Primark.
WHY: True was attracted to the investment opportunity in the disruptive nature of the brand and the global relatability of Danny’s story. War Paint has the first-mover advantage in the men’s makeup category, worth £1.14 billion and predicted to grow 5 times over the coming years. The capital will be used by War Paint to strengthen its team and further drive brand awareness.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Danny Gray, founder, & Matt Lumb, CEO, War Paint, say: “We’re both absolutely delighted to have partnered with such an established and reputable investment firm as True. Along with the investment itself we believe their wealth of experience and their broad network will catapult War Paint to the next level as we strive to be the global leader in the men’s makeup space. The fact we were able to finalise the investment during a global pandemic illustrates just how much belief everyone has in our amazing brand.”
Claire Cherry, Investment Principal, comments: “At True, our Seed Fund looks to invest in disruptive businesses that are at the forefront of the consumer behavioural shift, we are delighted to be partnering with War Paint for their next stage of rapid growth. The business is ideally positioned to drive growth in the men’s make-up market due to its customer centric and relatable brand positioning, digital-first business model and high quality product range.”
Redrice Ventures Partner and former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Robert Senior, adds: “Danny has a plan, a dream and relentless energy to help men’s mental health by giving them accessible confidence via men’s make up. War Paint is not only a category-defining brand it is also a truly modern brand. Redrice is a partnership of experienced operators committed to helping founders navigate today’s complexities and opportunities and we’re delighted to be investing in War Paint and being there for Danny.”
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