Novak Djokovic invests, Diageo acquires, Makeup by Mario raises
Dealboard has the latest funding news on digital fashion, beauty ecommerce and a Combos challenger.
Dealboard has the latest funding news on digital fashion, beauty ecommerce and a Combos challenger.
Welcome to Dealboard. In this weekly feature, The Current is providing a look at the mergers, acquisitions and venture capital deals making waves in ecommerce, CPG and retail.
This week, high profile athletes are investing in hydration and sneaker resale, while beverage giants are making bets on up-and-coming brands. Plus, platforms designed for the next generation of beauty and fashion commerce raised funds.
Check out the latest deals funding and M&A activity in commerce:
Wallapop, a peer-to-peer marketplace that prioritizes sustainability through resale and route optimization, raised $87 million in a Series G financing. Led by South Korean internet giant Naver and its European partner Korelya Capital, the round valued the company at $832 million, TechCrunch reported. Accel, 14W and Insight also participated. Based in Spain, the company is seeking to expand to nearby Southern European countries.
Makeup by Mario, a cosmetics brand, raised $40 million in a minority investment from investment firms Provenance and Silas Capital. Founded by Mario Dedivanovic in 2020, Makeup by Mario recently launched its first foundation line. The brand will seek to expand its assortment at Sephora, in North America and beyond.
ThriveCart, which creates ecommerce content, cart pages, funnels and affiliate campaigns for companies that sell digital products such as lessons and tutorials, raised $35 million from LTV SaaS Growth Fund. The company also named Kevin McKeand as CEO. With the capital raise, ThriveCart plans to invest in its technology, and expand its team to further serve the creator economy.
Waterdrop, a flavored water brand focused on hydration, received investment from tennis star Novak Djokovic. With the deal, Djokovic will become an ambassador for the brand, and is wearing the logo on his sleeve at the Australian Open tournament. Founded in 2016, Waterdrop recently entered the sports drink market.
Hye, a flavored functional water brand, received investment from German brewery company Warsteiner Group. Enriched with vitamins, minerals and natural extracts, Hye aims to fill a market gap between vitamin waters and energy drinks.
Evigence, a food technology company that provides freshness data, raised $18 million in a Series B round. The round was led by Cleveland Avenue, with participation from Landa Ventures, Planet Capital and Food Retail Ventures. Evigence uses sensors and data analytics to measure remaining freshness of food in real time. The company recently launched its system with Marley Spoon by Martha Stewart.
Chord, a commerce platform for DTC companies and omnichannel brands, raised $15 million in a Series A extension. The round was led by Bright Pixel Capital and Eclipse, with participation from GC1 Ventures, TechNexus Venture Collaborative, Anti Fund VC, Imaginary Ventures, Foundation Capital and White Star Capital. Chord’s platform combines headless commerce and data infrastructure that provides data collection, modeling and insights.
Oro, which offers open source applications for B2B digital commerce, raised $13 million. The round was led by Zubr Capital, with participation from Highland Europe. Decade-old Oro recently debuted a marketplace platform. It is looking to invest in product and community.
Sensible Hot Dogs, a maker of plant-based hot dogs, raised $12 million in non-brokered private financings. The company went public on the NEO Exchange in December. “We've taken out all the not-so-great ingredients from the hot dog that are infamously mysterious and created a healthier and tastier frank,” said CEO Shawn Balaghi.
Syky, a web3 fashion platform founded by former Ralph Lauren and Burberry digital executive Alice Delahunt, raised $9.5 million in a Series A round. The financing was led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six Capital, with participation from Brevan Howard Digital, Leadout Capital, First Light Capital Group and Polygon Ventures.
thirteen Lune, a beauty ecommerce platform, raised $8 million in a seed plus round. The financing included new participation from The BrainTrust Fund, which is the venture fund of a platform that supports Black beauty and wellness founders. Founded by Nyakio Grieco and Patrick Herning, thirteen Lune is seeking to continue retail expansion after the launch of a private label brand and in-store partnerships with JC Penney in 2022.
House of Blueberry, a digital fashion house for the metaverse, raised $6 million in seed funding, VentureBeat reported. The round was led by Makers Fund, with participation from Everblue Management. Founded in 2012 by Mishi McDuff, the company has sold digital assets on Roblox, The Sims, and Second Life.
Sophia Amurso, the entrepreneur behind Nasty Gal and Girlboss, is launching a venture fund. Trust Fund is setting a $5 million target, and will invest in digital consumer companies, according to TechCrunch. Investors include a16z partners Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen and Chris Dixon, entrepreneur Ev Williams and Paris Hilton.
The Edit LDN, a sneaker resale marketplace, raised $4.8 million in seed funding. The round was led by Regah Ventures, with participation from athletes including the NFL’s Xavier McKinney, the NBA’s PJ Tucker and Manchester United star Jesse Lingard. With 200% revenue growth over the last two years, The Edit LDN will aim to scale in the U.S. and Middle East North Africa.
Grounded People, a sustainable footwear brand, raised $2.5 million from Right Season Investments Corp. Founded in 2020, Right Season manufactures footwear in a vegan factory based in Brazil. “This investment will enable us to grow our team further, expand our retail and online presence, target international markets and continue building a robust product portfolio that simply and cost-effectively protects our customers and the planet on which we reside,” said CEO Maximilian Justus.
Wyandot Snacks, a contract manufacturer of snacks and cereals, scored an investment from private equity firm Astara Capital Partners. Founded in 1936, Wyandot works with CPGs, emerging brands and private label providers. “As a result of Astara's investment, Wyandot will benefit from being debt-free and having access to significant strategic, operational, and financial resources of Astara,” said Lindsey Tannenbaum, partner at Astara. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Rivalz, a snack startup that will debut a line of savory filled bites, closed a round of angel funding from venture capital firm The March Group and other private investors. Rivalz is set to position itself as a healthy alternative to Combos, and will launch through its website and select retail channels, according to Food Business News. The amount of the seed round was not disclosed.
Hella Cocktail Co. received investment from Pronghorn, which invests in Black founders building spirits companies. With the move, Hella founder Jomaree Pinkard will become CEO of Pronghorn, while stepping into a role of chairman at Hella.
Don Papa, a super-premium Filipino rum brand, was acquired by the spirits giant Diageo. Founded by Stephen Carroll, Don Papa combines local sugar cane from the island of Sugarlandia and aging in American oak barrels. It is available in 30 countries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
On the Move has the latest hiring update from The Vitamin Shoppe and At Home.
This week, Unilever, Nike and BigCommerce are seeing major transitions in the executive ranks. Meanwhile, The Vitamin Shoppe named a permanent CEO, and At Home brought on a longtime Walmart executive as president.
Conny Braams. (Courtesy photo)
Consumer goods giant Unilever announced key changes in top leadership roles. These include:
Graeme Pitkethly will retire as chief financial officer, effective at the end of May 2024. The board is set to launch a formal search for his successor. Pitkethly has been with Unilever for 21 years.
Conny Braams, who serves as chief digital and commercial officer, will leave the company, effective August 2023. Braams previously held senior management roles including Executive Vice President (EVP) of Middle Europe; and EVP Foodsolutions Asia, Africa and Middle East.
Craig Williams. (Courtesy photo)
Nike, Inc. announced several key leadership changes focused on consumer-led growth and marketplace. They are as follows:
Heidi O’Neill who is currently president of consumer and marketplace, will become president of consumer, product and brand.
Craig Williams, who is currently president of the Jordan Brand, will become president of geographies and marketplace at Nike, Inc.
Matthew Friend, EVP and Chief Financial Officer at NIKE, Inc., will expand responsibilities to include procurement, global places and services and demand and supply management.
Jared Carver will serve as CEO of Converse. Over the last four years, he served as VP/GM of North America for Converse.
Scott Uzzell, the previous CEO of Converse, transitioned to a new role as VP/GM, North America for Nike, Inc.
“These shifts will allow us to streamline our focus across product, brand storytelling and marketplace, mining deep consumer insights to deliver breakthrough innovation and engagement, while building long-term growth and profitability,” said Nike CEO John Donahoe, in a statement.
Lee Wright. (Courtesy photo)
Lee A. Wright was named CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe on a permanent basis, after serving as interim CEO since January 2023. Wright previously served as Chief Commercial Officer of Franchise Group and in executive roles at Conn’s.
Muriel Gonzalez was promoted to president of the retailer, after serving as EVP and chief merchandising and marketing officer of The Vitamin Shoppe since August 2020.
BigCommerce announced the following leadership roles:
Daniel Lentz was promoted to chief financial officer of BigCommerce, effective July 1. He previously served as SVP of finance and investor relations. Lentz will succeed CFO Robert Alvarez, who is retiring after a 12-year stint as CFO.
Chuck Cassidy was promoted to general counsel, effective June 2. Cassidy previously served as VP and associate general counsel. He will succeed Jeff Mengoli, who is retiring.
Hubert Ban was named chief accounting officer. He will replace Vice President of Accounting and Principal Accounting Officer Thomas Aylor, who departed the ecommerce platform on May 19.
Jeff Evans. (Courtesy photo)
Jeff Evans was named president and chief merchandising officer of At Home, the home goods retailer.
Evans previously served as EVP of entertainment, toys and seasonal at Walmart, managing the largest general merchandise business for the retailer. He rose to the position after serving in executive roles at Walmart US and Sam’s Club.