Courtin-Clarins family invests in Pai Skincare
The family that owns French beauty group Clarins is going all out on the investment front. A matter of days after Famille C, the holding company owned by the Courtin-Clarins clan, made its first investment in the wine world through the acquisition of a château with 6.4 hectares of vines with Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Class B status on Monday, Famille C Venture, the holding company's investment arm, has jumped into action, with the UK's Pai Skincare announcing that it has received £6.4 million (7.5 million euros) from the investment fund.
This is a significant funding boost for the organic cosmetics brand founded by Sarah Brown in 2007. Brown, who already secured a first round of funding totalling £3.45 million (4 million euros) from Cap Invest in 2017, remains the brand's majority shareholder.
With its first round of funding having allowed the London-based brand to develop its e-commerce activities, the support from Famille C Venture will make it possible for the company to accelerate its product development through the opening of new research & development and manufacturing sites in West London.
"Our Series B funding round gives us the necessary financial strength to stimulate our growth on our strategic markets. Choosing innovation by taking the more difficult road, by which I mean developing and manufacturing our own products, is unusual in the beauty sector in England," said Brown.
Last year, the brand, whose organic products boast a number of certifications, notably for the treatment of chronic urticaria, revised its packaging and marketing approach. By placing increased emphasis on its ethical commitments and developing more responsible packaging, Pai has been able to align itself with increasingly demanding consumer expectations.
"We wanted to capture the very essence of who we are, what we do and what's important to us. The way that we behave and buy is making considerable progress towards a more responsible form of consumption," explained the CEO in a release. "Today, a purchase represents the shared values and beliefs of a brand and its consumer. The global Covid situation has brought difficult times, complications, but also positivity, in that it has made us focus on the advantages of formulating and manufacturing our products under a single roof, and on explaining to our customers why they should be as concerned about this as we are."
In 2020, the brand posted sales of £8.3 million, up from £5.5 million in 2018. The company previously announced that it expected to achieve £10.5 million in revenues in 2021, but in light of the acceleration in manufacturing made possible by this latest funding round, Brown has now upped this guidance to £12 million (13.8 million euros), with the majority of sales set to come from the UK, France and the United States.
As for Famille C Venture, Pai Skincare is the fifth investment for the fund launched by Prisca Courtin-Clarins in 2017, following Sophia Genetics, LumApps, Joone and Launchmetrics.
"We are very proud to support Pai Skincare and to be an integral part of its wonderful project. Sarah has founded a company with a very original model and fantastic potential," commented the fund's creator. "I'm convinced that the Pai brand has a role to play in our sector and provides an essential value-added offering which responds perfectly to the expectations of new consumers. We are honoured to be able to provide solid financial backing and continued personalised support."
In order to make good on this promise of continued support, Prisca Courtin-Clarins will be joining Pai's board of directors.
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