Black-owned haircare brand Mielle Organics attracted a Series A investment of more than $100 million from private equity firm Berkshire Partners, whose prior investments include well-known brands such as CrossFit, Party City and Rockport.
The news from Mielle, also the fastest-growing Black-owned natural haircare brand in the U.S., follows announcements earlier this year that include bringing on Grammy-winning musician Jio as its global brand ambassador. The brand will also release a new multipart campaign called 2021 Unmasked: I Know My Roots, featuring entertainers LeToya Luckett and Toya Johnson.
Between the lines
The financing will fund Mielle’s growth plans, including “its mission to educate, empower, and excite Mielle’s customers and the broader hair care community,” according to a company statement.
As part of the transaction, co-founders Monique Rodriguez and Melvin Rodriguez, who are CEO and COO, respectively, will retain a majority stake in the business.
“Their investment reinforces our mission for community development and growth of Mielle’s vision of global expansion,” added Monique Rodriguez in a statement.
“During the past seven years, we’ve been able to expand our product lines, increase our distribution and invest in our community; we are excited to continue innovating and developing new products, grow awareness of Mielle, and reach even more consumers to give them products that they deserve,” said Melvin Rodriguez.
The hefty investment should come as no surprise, given that in 2020 the business grew more than 160% year over year. According to data provided by Shopify, Mielle’s rosemary mint scalp and hair strengthening oil was one of the top trending products on Black Friday last Fall, an example of just how effectively the company’s messaging has reached consumers.
Mielle products are carried by major retailers such as Sally Beauty, Target, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and HEB. They are also sold internationally in Europe and Africa and directly online.
The funding is a breakthrough for a Black-owned enterprise, which generally tend to struggle to gain the attention of investment firms and raise capital.
For example, ProjectDiane, a biennial report on the state of Black and Latinx women founders produced by digitalundivided, revealed that only 93 Black women founders have raised $1 million in funding.