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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, five-year-old startup brands in beauty and furniture were acquired, L’Oréal invested in a longtime partner and Glowbar raised funds to expand beyond New York. Here’s the latest activity:
L’Oréal invests in temporary tattoo company
Beauty giant L’Oréal invested in Prinker Korea, which specializes in micro-printing of temporary tattoos.
The minority investment was made through corporate venture arm BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oreal Development.
Founded in 2015, Prinker developed a digital temporary tattoo device. The companies worked together for several years to develop Brow Magic, an applicator debuted at last week’s CES that applies eyebrows by combining AR and printing technology.
Glowbar raises $10 million
Skincare brand Glowbar raised $10 million from Peterson Partners, a Salt Lake City VC firm which has also invested in Allbirds, Bonobos and Madison Reed.
Founded in 2019 by esthetician Rachel Liverman, Glowbar operates six studios offering 30-minute facials in the New York area. It is planning to double that total in 2023 while expanding into new geographic markets on the East Coast.
With the deal, Drybar cofounder Alli Webb and Bluemercury cofounder Marla Beck will join the company’s advisory board.
Explorer raises $2.5M for cold brew
The round was co-led by NewBound Ventures and Table Management, the family office of prominent hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Additional investors include Covet PR founder Sara Brooks,Truffl Agency Founder Raphael Farasat, Drizly cofounder Justin Robinson, Victress Capital General Partner Lori Cashman and CPG advisor Timo Weiland.
Founded by Carson Crane, Explorer makes cold brew in four caffeine levels, with fair-trade coffee that is roasted and bottled in Texas. Its business is 70% ecommerce, and is adding new products and branding, Forbes reported.
Fanatics divests stake in NFT company
Sports-focused ecommerce platform Fanatics is divesting its 60% stake in Candy Digital, a company offering collectibles for fans via nonfungible tokens (NFTs), according to CNBC. Fanatics is selling the majority stake to crypto merchant platform Galaxy Digital.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Starco acquires clean beauty brand
Consumer products maker Starco is set to acquire clean beauty brand Skylar, the companies announced.
Founded in 2017 by Cat Chen, Skylar makes fragrances that are vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
Going forward, Skylar will be an independent entity of Starco, led by Chen. The companies are planning new products, while leveraging partnerships with retailers Sephora and Nordstrom.
Previously, Starco acquired Kobe Bryant-fouded Art of Sport, and vodka-infused whipped cream brand Whipshots.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
DTC furniture brand acquired
Canadian sleep retailer Sleep Country acquired DTC brand Silk & Snow.
Following a 2017 Kickstarter campaign, Silk & Snow launched via ecommerce with a memory foam mattress that was locally made, and delivered via box. The company has grown to develop a line of sleep and lifestyle products that includes mattresses, furniture, bed essentials and its new bath lineup. It also expanded into the U.S.
Going forward, Silk & Snow will operate as an independent entity within Sleep Country. Terms were not disclosed.
“Their purpose-driven approach to product design, manufacturing, and digital marketing aligns beautifully with our strategic road map and expansion of sustainable products, and into new markets,” said Stewart Schaefer, president and CEO of Sleep Country Canada, in a statement
L2 acquires Ouray
Sportswear makers Ouray and Locale Outdoor were acquired by apparel and headwear maker L2 Brands from distributor S&S.
Ouray was founded in 1965 as Ski Country Imports. In 2021, it acquired Locale. That same year, Ouray was acquired by S&S as part of a deal to bring on TSC Apparel. Now, it will join L2, which is the owner of apparel, headwear and home décor brands League and Legacy.
The companies said the deal will bring opportunities to grow across categories including destination, collegiate, golf and consumer branded apparel.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Naver completes Poshmark acquisition
South Korean internet giant Naver completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of resale platform Poshmark, the companies said this week. With the close of the deal, Poshmark was delisted from the Nasdaq.
Initially announced in October, the deal was billed as a means to combine the AI-powered ecommerce technology and reach in Asia of Naver with Poshmark’s standing as a fashion ecommerce powerhouse and large community.
Trending in Brand News
LadderUp is aiming for 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation. Shopify will provide access to its platform.
Shipt is launching a new accelerator program designed to provide ecommerce tools for local retailers.Called LadderUp, the program is centered on equity. Target-owned delivery owned Shipt said conversations with business owners have revealed that local entrepreneurs face “gaps” in technology, but they also want to participate in ecommerce platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult for Black business owners, who saw earnings drop between 11-28% in 2019-2020, as compared to the earnings decrease of 5-17% for the rest of the population.
With the new program, the company’s goal is to reach at least 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation in the program.
Shipt is aiming to serve businesses in Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, Detroit, Houston and Washington, D.C.
Target categories include: grocery/beverage, health, beauty, and floral/gifts retailers.
“Working with small businesses to build up their capabilities is a key part of our commitment to help create healthier, more resilient and equitable communities,” said CEO Kamau Witherspoon. “We recognize the unique role that we can play in both combating hunger in under-resourced communities and boosting small, local retailers that are so vital to communities across our country.”
What will entrepreneurs receive?
Education: Business owners who are selected will receive an 8-week course with industry leaders that covers business-building topics including finances, efficiency, marketing, ecommerce 101, the basics of using Shipt, and legal knowledge.
Funding: Upon completion, retailers will provide $5,000 for businesses to invest in ecommerce.
Shopify access: Shopify, which is partnering with Shipt, is also providing to its access for a limited amount of time to help business owners build an online storefront and manage inventory. The program will also provide technical assistance.Applications are open Feb. 6- March 6.