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Jessica Alba’s Honest Company scores $200 million to revive its eco-brand

ImpactAlpha, June 11 – It’s been a rough couple years for the eco-consumer baby and cosmetics brand launched by actor Jessica Alba in 2012. Now, Honest Company  has raised $200 million from private equity firm L Catterton to revive its brand and expand distribution channels.

The latest round of funding appears to be a reset, of sorts, for the company. Honest will use the funding to expand its beauty line and launch in Europe, Reuters reports.

Honest Company launched to much fanfare with an initial line of baby products in 2011. Its growth and product expansion catapulted its valuation to a high point of $1.7 billion in 2015. Honest Company was reportedly both exploring an IPO and acquisition offers, the more common path for specialty consumer brands.

But after a deal with Unilever fell through, Honest replaced its CEO. It also faced (and settled) several lawsuits over its products’ ingredients. Honest Co. more than halved its share price when it began trying to raise new capital in late 2017.

Once certified as a B Corp, a designation for companies that meet operational criteria for sustainability and governance, the designation appears to have disappeared from Honest Company’s website, as well as from B Lab’s, the nonprofit that certifies such companies. Indeed, the news section of Honest Company’s website has few entries of any sort more recent than 2015.

Nick Vlahos, Honest Company’s CEO, once ran Burt’s Bees, another cosmetics line, after its acquisition by Clorox Co. in 2007. Other eco-brands that have been acquired by larger consumer packaged goods companies include cleaning products companies Ecover and Method, which were acquired by SC Johnson last year. Unilever acquired Seventh Generation in 2016.  Danone acquired healthy baby product line Happy Family in 2013.

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