Economy

Skincare brand Topicals raises $10M; ZitSticka acquired

On this week's Dealboard: New funding for subscriptions, social commerce for travel and non-alcoholic craft beer.

Skincare brand Topicals raises $10M; ZitSticka acquired

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, a big raise and noteworthy acquisition in the skincare space, a non-alcoholic beverage company gets an investment from Keurig Dr. Pepper and Klaviyo makes its first acquisition.

Here’s a look at the dealflow this week:

FUNDING

Topicals CEO Olamide Olowe. (Courtesy photo)

Skincare brand Topicals raises $10M

Topicals, a brand that makes skincare products to treat flare-ups and advocates for mental health, raised $10 million in a Series A round led by CAVU Consumer Partners.

Founded in 2020 by Olamide Olowe, the brand recorded 3x revenue in 2021 through channels including Sephora and direct-to-consumer. Connecting mind and body wellness, it has also donated $50,000 to support nonprofits providing mental health resources for marginalized communities. The funding will be put toward omnichannel growth, new hires, channel expansion and brand marketing awareness. Jenna Jackson, principal of growth at CAVU Consumer Partners, will also join Topicals' Board of Directors.

"Through Topicals, we believe Olamide has set a new standard in beauty - not only by formulating and marketing effective over-the-counter replacement products for skincare - but also by destigmatizing the way consumers speak about their skin conditions," said Jackson, in a statement.

Grove Collaborative receives investment from HumanCo for future M&A

Sustainability-focused consumer products company Grove Collaborative entered a strategic partnership with HumanCo Investments, a health and wellness holding company. The goal is to identify and complete mergers and acquisitions for Grove Collaborative. Through the partnership, HumanCo will do the following:

  • Assist Grove in identifying and evaluating M&A opportunities
  • Invest in Grove through a private investment in a public equity, and was granted a warrant to purchase Class A common stock.
  • Further fund up to $100 million in "one or more" future M&A transactions for Grove.

Grove offers a marketplace that sells household and beauty products under its own brand, as well as those of others. The company went public in June.

“There are many companies that will need to be part of a larger platform that brings them scale and efficiency. We are confident that with HumanCo’s assistance, Grove will be able to identify and execute on these compelling M&A opportunities,” stated Ross Berman, cofounder of HumanCo.

​Ordergroove raises $100M for retail subscription tech

Ordergroove, which provides software allowing brands and retailers to run their own subscription programs, raised $100 million in a new round of equity financing led by Primus Capital Partners.

WIth a focus on growing recurring revenue and customer lifetime value, Ordergroove powers subscriptions for L’Oréal, Bonafide, The Honest Company, La Colombe, and PetSmart. The company’s platform is platform agnostic, so it is desiged to integrate with other ecommerce platforms.

“This partnership with Primus will allow us to fuel our rapid growth and continue to scale our investments in product and innovation,” said Ordergroove CEO Greg Alvo, in a statement.

Hopper raises $96M to bring social commerce to travel

Travel app Hopper raised $96 million from Capital One in a follow-on investment to the company’s 2021 Series F that will help to accelerate its foray into social commerce. With the deal, Hopper and Capital One are planning to extend a partnership that is aimed at growing Capital One Travel.

Among a series of initiatives, Hopper is aiming to build its own travel super app, which will include social commerce features that will roll out over the next year. It has already launched features including referrals, share-to-earn, team buying and daily gifts, which allow users to redeem rewards.

Keurig Dr. Pepper invests $50M in Athletic Brewing

Beverage giant Keurig Dr. Pepper invested $50 million for a minority stake in non-alcoholic craft beer maker Athletic Brewing Company.

Founded in 2017 by Bill Shufelt and John Walker, ABC has grown to become a top-20 craft beer maker, per Nielsen, and holds 55% market share in the non-alcoholic craft beer category.

"Athletic Brewing is a winning brand in a rapidly growing beverage segment. Our investment reflects our interest and ability to move into exciting white spaces, including in the blurring of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories," said Keurig Dr. Pepper Executive Chairman Bob Gamgort, in a statement.

Collars & Co. secures Shark Tank deal

Collars & Co., a Washington, DC-based menswear brand, secured a $1 million investment on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Founder Justin Baer closed a deal with Mark Cuban and British billionaire Peter Jones in exchange for 10% equity in the company.

Launched during the pandemic, the brand makes a product called Dress Collar Polo that is designed to be formal–looking, athletic and easy to clean. It also expanded into outerwear. So far, the brand generated $5.4 million in sales so far and worked with notable athletes like Tiki Barber and Sir Nick Faldo on photoshoots.

M&A

HeyDay, a digital-first consumer products company, acquired acne treatment and prevention brand Zitsticka.

HeyDay acquires and incubates digital brands, providing tools to help with omnichannel expansion, product development and building brand equity. The acquisition marks a deeper investment into personal care, in particular the growing pimple patch category.

Zitsticka launched with the popular Killa patch, which contains microdarts to prevent early-stage zits. It has since expanded to a product line that includes supplements, body washes and topicals, and has also launched in-store channels including Target and Ulta Beauty. This foundation offers “significant runway for future growth,” according to HeyDay.

Klaviyo acquires Napkin.io

Marketing automation platform Klaviyo acquired Napkin.io, a tool to help software developers build and deploy APIs. It’s the first acquisition for Klaviyo, which has grown from a prominent base working with brands in the Shopify ecosystem. Terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2021 by Nick Sypteras, who will join Klaviyo, Napkin.io is designed to allow developers to easily write and deploy code from a browser. Once live, the code can be set to run on a schedule, or deployed as an API endpoint.

“Klaviyo is focused on providing the best possible experience for our customers – and that means opening up our platform to allow developers to build on top of our existing offerings,” said Ed Hallen, co-founder and chief product officer of Klaviyo. “Last year a few members of our team discovered Napkin.io and were immediately impressed with the power of the software, clear user interface, and unique feature set which are all Klaviyo-level quality.”

Additional tools that Klaviyo has made available to build on top of its platform include new SDKs, a sample data tool for Klaviyo onboarding, and a portal where developers can find API documentation, guides, and developer-specific content.

Gap sells China business

Gap Inc. announced that its has agreements in place to sell the Gap brand's Greater China business to ecommerce provider Baozun Inc. The company will operate the Gap's stores and ecommerce sites in that market on a franchise model.

The deal was the result of a review of Gap China that began in 2020. It allow Gap to operate in a more “asset-light, cost-effective model” in the market.

“With its local expertise and best-in-class omni-channel technology and deep expertise in data management and digital business, Baozun will enable Gap brand to better connect with Chinese consumers across all channels,” CEO Mark Breitbard wrote to employees.

Next buys Made.com out of administration

UK retailer Next acquired furniture and home goods retailer Made.com for £3.4M. The Nov. 8 deal followed the Oct. 31 collapse of 12-year-old Made.com into administration.

The company had stopped taking orders in October as it struggled to find a buyer. But Made.com swooped in to buy the company's assets after administrators were appointed, which is the British equivalent of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Retail Channels

Amazon touts 'biggest ever' Black Friday weekend

Plus, check out peak holiday shopping weekend results shared by Klaviyo, Wayfair and Ace Hardware.

brown and black floral box
Amazon under the tree. (Photo by Wicked Monday on Unsplash)

At Amazon, 2022 delivered the "biggest ever" Thanksgiving weekend to date.

ustomers purchased a record number of products from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, the company said in a news release Wednesday. Amazon did not disclose sales figures, while sharing that “hundreds of millions” of products were purchased.

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