Pacifica Beauty, a 25-year-old clean and vegan brand, has received a minority investment from private equity firm Brentwood Associates. It’s also appointed a new CEO.
Pacifica first brought in Alliance Consumer Growth as a minority investor in 2016, but Brook Harvey-Taylor, founder and former CEO of Pacifica, said she wanted to find an additional investor that was more “hands-on” and could help guide the brand’s growth. ACG remains an investor, and Harvey-Taylor cited the firm’s expertise in operation and digital as particularly useful. Pacifica is valued at $250 million, according to Bloomberg, though a Pacifica spokesperson declined to comment. Brook Harvey-Taylor and Billy Taylor remain the majority stakeholders.
At the same time Nathalie Kristo, Pacifica’s new CEO, was brought in, after formerly serving as North America president for Huda Beauty. She said her first priorities are to amplify the brand’s marketing, especially around its heritage and upcoming new products. Expanding internationally is also a priority, as Pacifica expanded to Canada, the U.K and parts of Europe in 2020 and 2021. With Kristo stepping into the CEO role, Harvey-Taylor will have more chances to stand out as a founder and focus on community building, Harvey-Taylor said.
“It’s an interesting time right now [in beauty]. People are rethinking their consumption, their choices and their values,” said Kristo. “A lot of people are curious now, and they want to educate themselves on being a more conscious consumer, using better ingredients and sourcing. And they want to engage in these conversations.”
So far in 2022, the investment space for beauty has been on fire, with P&G scooping up Tula, True Beauty Ventures leading a Series C investment in Moon Juice, Galderma acquiring Alastin Skincare and Il Makiage’s parent company, Oddity, raising $130 million at a $1.5 billion valuation, just to name a few recent deals.
Brentwood Associates looks to increase its own participation in the sector. Brentwood previously invested in Hims & Hers, which went public in 2021, but Pacifica is the first pure-play beauty brand. Katherine Mossman, a partner at Brentwood Associates, said the private equity firm is making beauty and wellness investments a “priority.” She said that Pacifica was of great interest, in part, because of its accessible pricing and distribution, as clean products once exclusively existed at prestige or luxury price points and retailers. Pacifica products are almost all under $30 and sell through Target, Whole Foods and Ulta Beauty.
“Clean beauty is table stakes and what the consumer is expecting. For each investment, I’m looking to what [a brand’s pricing] strategy is and how are they going to get there and [grow] more quickly,” she said. She added that Brentwood will play a role in key decision-making processes versus imposing decisions, while also boosting the brand’s marketing, digital and expansion strategies.
“We always like to say that we have a pull strategy, not a push strategy,” she said.