Since joining Brandless in December 2020, Tetro has led Brandless to complete four separate (but as yet unannounced) acquisitions, some in Utah and some outside of the state
Draper, Utah-based Brandless today announced it has closed a $118 million round of equity and debt funding.
The funding was led by existing owner, Clarke Capital Partners and "other strategic corporate and institutional investors." Additionally, "Keystone National Group provided a senior debt facility (as part of the funding)."
According to Brandless CEO, Cydni Tetro, the purpose of the funding is to help it drive growth for the eCommerce company of "mission-driven, digital first brands," products that primarily target women in the 25-45-year-old demographic.
One of Utah's most visible women in its technology and business community, Tetro joined Brandless as CEO and board member in December 2020.
She was a Co-Founder of Women Tech Council and currently serves as its president, a nonprofit headquartered in Utah. And during her career Tetro has worked with or for such companies as Disney, Dreamworks, Facebook, Marvel, Microsoft, Major League Baseball, National Football League, Target, and Walmart, among others.
According to today's funding news release,
“Brandless is transforming commerce by creating influence-as-a-service and democratizing access to better-for-you products," Tetro said. "By uniting brands with a mission and micro-influencers through technology, we’re creating a platform that makes everyone mission-driven and empowers them to be a force for good.”
From San Francisco to Funding Darling to Fire Sale to Draper to ...
Brandless got its start in San Francisco, California in 2016 as a hot, Direct-to-Consumer focused eCommerce company selling "Better for You" products for Millennials, Gen Zers, and aspirational adults.
Early that year the DTC firm raised $1.5 million in a Seed round of funding, followed by a $16 million Series A round of funding in December 2016.
By mid-2018 Crunchbase reported that Brandless had raised over $290 million in external funding, the last round led by mega-investment company, Softbank.
But by then, the proverbial bloom had gone off the rose as Softbank's $240 million Series C round only gave Brandless a pre-money valuation of $260 million.
Sure enough, by the time Utah-based Clarke CP and digital marketing agency Ikonifi purchased "the assets" of Brandless in June 2020, Brandless had been out of business for four months, $292 million flushed down the drain.
In fact, my sources say that Brandless was purchased for "pennies on the dollar" by Clarke CP and Ikonifi, but that's a whole 'nother story.
Four as yet Unannounced Brandless Acquisitions Since January 2021
As part of their Brandless acquisition agreement, its new owners moved the company to the westside of Draper last year for a re-start, with Tetro joining the firm as CEO in December 2020.
In a Silicon Slopes exclusive, Tetro admitted over our online video call this afternoon that Brandless has already acquired four companies since January.
What companies, she would not say. But she did tell me that "... some were in Utah, some were not."
Tetro also said that Brandless is on track to acquire an average of one company a month as it moves forward, something the new funding will help drive.
"How rapidly we've been able to execute on our strategy (since she joined the firm in December) has been really remarkable," Tetro said.
When you type the name Brandless into your search browser on the Internet, up pops the tagline:
"Live Well. Take Care. Do Good."
And that's the mission Brandless is built around.
Today Brandless sells everything from beauty and personal care products to garden tools and kitchen utensils.
And the plan is to add more. A lot more.
Hence, the need for $118 million in funding.
Should be interesting to watch this new Silicon Slopes success story "in the making" as it rolls forward.
So good luck to Cyd and Team Brandless.