Australian SPF-based skin care brand Ultra Violette has received a $15 million AUD minority investment from U.S. consumer growth equity firm Aria Growth Partners, marking the first time it has taken outside capital.
Founded by former Mecca staffers Ava Chandler-Matthews and Rebecca Jefferd and launched in 2019, the Melbourne-based brand has expanded to more than 28 international markets across Europe, Australia, the U.K., Asia and the Middle East through retail partnerships like Sephora, SpaceNK, Harrods and Liberty London.
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But with their eyes on North America, the founders decided it was time to take on a partner with experience in that market. The investment is designed to support Ultra Violette’s further expansion into the region, starting with Canada through Sephora in March 2024. It then plans to launch in the U.S. the following year.
“The investment is about bringing in a trusted partner that’s got some skin in the game. What we’re looking for is strategic support, particularly in North America, but also more broadly across scaling global brands and Aria has got runs on the board in terms of doing that,” said Jefferd.
“We’re coming at that market with a deep appreciation for what it would take to be successful there,” added Chandler-Matthews. “Having someone on the ground with relevant knowledge, a partner in the business, is a great way of really rounding out the team.”
Aria previously invested in Hero Cosmetics, which was acquired by Church & Dwight in 2022 for $630 million. In the beauty space, it also has a minority investment in British skin care brand The Inkey List.
“We are thrilled to partner with Bec and Ava for Ultra Violette’s next phase of growth,” said Jackie Dunklau, cofounder and partner at Aria Growth Partners. “Bec and Ava are impressive entrepreneurs that have created a beautiful brand, with truly amazing, high-performance products. As consumers change their SPF habits from occasion-based to daily usage, Ultra Violette is perfectly positioned to lead the charge.”
Ultra Violette did not disclose sales, but said the brand has been profitable since its first year.
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