Cash Flow: Andy Murray Invests In Castore, Pet Wellness Brands Attract Funding & Lover Raises $5M

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The game-changing investment, acquisition and funding news impacting the industry and driving the business of wellness this week.

Castore Raises £7.5m from Andy Murray and other investors

Men’s sportswear and athleisure brand Castore has raised £7.5m from a group of investors including tennis champion Sir Andy Murray and Net-a-Porter co-founder Arnaud Massenet. The four-year-old startup has revealed it will use the funding to support its expansion into team sports.

The investment news follows the launch of Castore’s first brick and mortar store, which opened in London late last year. The 1,200 square-foot flagship, which is set across two floors, features the brand’s full range of gym, running, tennis, golf and technical lifestyle collections as well as showcasing a recently launched  ‘Andy Murray Castore’ co-branded tennis performance and lifestyle line. 

According to Castore, the business is on course to generate £37m sales this year as it continues to push the boundaries of sportswear innovation and performance enhancement. Read More

Cash Flow: Andy Murray Invests In Castore, Pet Wellness Brands Attract Funding & Lover Raises $5M

Image: Lover

Sexual wellness app Lover secures $5m in seed funding

A new sexual wellness app called Lover has raised $5m in a seed funding round led by Lerer Hippeau, with participation from Tinder founder Sean Rad and others.

The San Francisco-based startup aims to take the taboo out of sexual wellness and stand out from rivals by providing practical, science-based tools and strategies to improve users’ sex lives. It joins a wave of new entrants into a global market that is predicted to grow to $64.6bn in value, by 2023.

“We want to do for sexual health what apps like Calm and Headspace have done for mental health – empower users, start a new conversation and move the subject into the mainstream,” commented Jas Bagnieswki, Lover’s co-founder and CEO. 

Read More: The Most-Hyped Wellness Innovations At CES 2020

“As other areas of wellbeing, like mental health, shake off their stigma and enter the mainstream, we believe that sexual wellness is a natural extension of the conversation,” added Ben Lerer, Lerer Hippeau’s Managing Partner.

Acne-patch brand Starface bags $2m to promote acne positivity

In a round led by BBG Ventures, acne-patch startup Starface has raised $2m to invest in product innovation and international expansion.

The skincare brand, launched last September has ambitions to reframe the conversation around acne –– shifting it from one of shame to empowerment.

Founded by former Elle beauty editor Julie Schott and entrepreneur Brian Bordainick, the brand sells star-shaped face stickers containing hydrocolloid, designed to absorb the liquid within spots and protect blemishes from further irritation.

“This category hasn’t been shaken up in a long time so we thought: what if we looked at acne differently and were able to make it optimistic, uplifting and fun, while still [selling something]effective?” Schott recently told Vogue Business.

Since its launch, the brand has already amassed a combined following of 66k across Instagram and TikTok, highlighting its potential to engage the Gen Z demographic.

Cash Flow: Andy Murray Invests In Castore, Pet Wellness Brands Attract Funding & Lover Raises $5M

Image: Starface

Clean Liquor wins $2m+ from Snapchat and Goop investors

The Clean Liquor Co. has raised a $2m plus seed round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners — the investors behind global powerhouses such as Snapchat and Goop — as the market for low alcohol/alcohol alternatives continues to undergo explosive growth.

Read More: Diageo Snaps Up Seedlip As Sales For Alcohol Alternatives Soar

With the goal of becoming the world’s first choice for low alcohol drinks, the brand now plans to add to its first product CleanGin, with a range of products targeted to different markets – the next of which will be a clean rum.

Launched at a time when the mindful drinking movement continues to see significant growth, Clean Liquor hopes it can ride the wave of interest to become the world’s first choice for low alcohol drinks.

Dog wellness brand Jinx scores $5.6m to disrupt wellness industry

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm Initialized Capital has invested $5.6m in healthy dog food startup Jinx.

Founded by alums of DTC mattress brand Casper, the startup has the potential to disrupt the wellness industry according to Ohanian, who told FOX Business: “We know that consumers are continuing to embrace healthy, natural, organic options when it comes to their own day-to-day wellness, so it’s no surprise that they’ve extended this approach to how they care for their pets.”

The news follows the announcement of a separate strategic investment from L Catterton Europe into Butternut Box — a fresh food delivery brand for dogs. Both brands now hope to expand further into what is a rapidly growing wellness category.

“Many pet owners view their pets as integral parts of their family and they care for them as such,” Ohanian said. “Our generation is even putting off having kids by having a dog instead. In the same way that a parent might rationalize paying more for healthy, organic products for their children, we’re seeing pet owners understand that there’s a premium – albeit a small one – to care for your dog in the way they need to be cared for.

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