U Beauty, a science-driven luxury brand that strikes a chord with consumers looking for simplified and sustainable skin care, has secured a strategic investment from Sandbridge Capital.
Sandbridge represents U Beauty’s first institutional capital deal and the funds will be used to accelerate the brand’s multi-channel, cross-category global growth.
Since its founding in 2019 by influencer Tina Craig and Katie Borghese, U Beauty has been on a growth trajectory—especially during the pandemic when many consumers discovered the brand.
The streamlined, tightly edited range is in tune with a consumer-driven shift in skin care that eliminates the need for a multitude of ancillary products, yet minimizes irritation, time, and waste, the company said in a statement. Inspired by precision medicine, U Beauty’s proprietary technology targets areas with high levels of damage, causing free radicals to neutralize only those areas while simultaneously preserving healthy skin.
For Tina, Sandbridge is the right match to expand the brand. “For a founder, finding the right growth partner is a grueling process. There’s typically some aspect of the conversation that makes you feel particularly protective of your brand. But, from our very first conversation with Ken [Suslow, founder and managing partner] and his team, there was a natural affinity – personal, professional, and strategic – between U Beauty and Sandbridge that made our partnership feel like an inevitability,” said Tina, who also holds the title of Chief Creative Officer.” She added that Sandbridge’s track record and roster of blue-chip advisors also appealed to her.
Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Katie added, “Not only does Sandbridge have reverence for brand equity and value the individuals driving the company, we are intrinsically aligned on U Beauty’s vision, mission, and strategy. We want to break through existing conventions within the skincare industry and create substantial change, and with this new partnership, our goals will undoubtedly be realized.”
Sandbridge is no stranger to the beauty industry. The consumer-focused private investment firm currently counts Peach & Lily and Madison Reed in its portfolio and had invested in Youth to the People and Ilia before those brands fetched attractive acquisition deals.
“U Beauty is compellingly positioned at the intersection of where luxury beauty meets science-driven efficacy in support of its elevated skincare solutions. We are super enthused to partner with Tina, Katie, and their highly impressive team as the company redefines performance skincare with their continued breakthrough product innovation,” Ken says. “U Beauty is one of those rare mission driven brands that we have had the good fortune to partner with over the years, with its authentically modern clean beauty approach and importantly differentiated brand positioning.”
U Beauty merges direct-to-consumer, brick-and-mortar and digital commerce, and is currently available through over 100 doors in 16 countries, including Violet Grey, Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The brand is also certified with the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury, an industry-leading certification for luxury brands making a positive impact on the world, as U Beauty embraces transparency and environmental advertency. In addition to using recycled packaging and non-toxic ingredients, its manufacturing facilities use 100% green energy. U Beauty also has an ongoing partnership with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit dedicated to reforestation, to plant a tree for every U Beauty product sold.
U Beauty has been on a path to growth since its launch in 2019 The brand debuted in November 2019 with U Beauty Resurfacing Compound ($138 for a 30-ml bottle), a multipurpose product that aims to improve skin’s appearance while replacing up to six products in a typical skin care routine. Up until its release, items were shared with select editors and influencers as whispers emerged touting “Tina Craig’s Skin in a Bottle”.
“I never intended to launch a skin care line,” Tina told Beauty News three years ago. “I went to fashion week and people were asking me what I was using on my face since my skin was glowing,” said Tina. “Soon after, friends started bringing Ziplock bags so I could put a couple of pumps of the cream in the bag for them.” In June 2021 the brand tapped Linda Burke Esposito as CFO/COO. Linda’s trifecta of finance, start-up, and beauty experience has complemented the brand.