While a celebrity co-founder/investor can bring notoriety and publicity to a new company, often the dazzle quickly fizzles away. But Jessica Alba's startup, The Honest Company, which the actress cofounded with Christopher Gavigan, Sean Kane and Brian Lee in 2012, has steadily continued to grow and raise funding long after the initial bout of celebrity-fueled hype.
Case in point: The company, which makes and sells eco-friendly nontoxic baby and family products, has raised $70 million from Wellington Management Company and all existing venture investors, a group that includes ICONIQ Capital, General Catalyst Partners, and Institutional Venture Partners. This latest financing ads to the $52 million, including a $25 million funding round in November, that The Honest Company has raised since its launch and values the company at just under $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The money will be used to expand Honest Company's product line as well as its international reach; there have already been partnership talks to expand into China, the Journal reported. “We believe being a public company is the best path for us going forward and it’s good to get that validation early on,” said Lee, Honest's chief executive. “I can’t say when that will be, but we are definitely starting to think and act like a public company.”
Annual revenue is on target to surpass $150 million, Lee told the outlet, with approximately 80 percent of that coming from customers who sign up for the company's recurring monthly subscription service. While Honest Company products are sold at a range of outlets, including Whole Foods, Costco and more recently, Target and Nordstrom, offline purchases only account for 20 percent of items sold.
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