July 24, 2024

Subtl Receives Investment From Cult Capital – WWD

After successfully betting on sunscreen brand Supergoop, Cult Capital has its eyes on stackable beauty.

The consumer-facing investment firm has made a $5 million Series A investment in Subtl Beauty, a convenience-focused makeup brand founded by Rachel Reid in 2018. Two existing investors, Grouse Ridge Capital and Innovation Works, pushed the total up to $5.5 million.

Subtl’s products are packaged in a travel-friendly stackable format, with its new packaging offering a refillable design. Products include the premade five-piece Starter Stak, $60, and the four-piece Eyeshadow Stak, $63.

“Subtl is really revolutionizing the cosmetics industry,” said Sarah Woelfel, partner at Cult Capital, in an interview, highlighting that more than 300,000 staks have been sold since launch. “The brand is offering compact, versatile, easy-to-use beauty solutions for the time-strapped modern woman, which is a really underserved market in today’s cosmetics space. Women now are busier than ever and require solutions that align with their lifestyles.”

With the investment, Reid plans to add to her team, spend more on marketing strategies and secure broader retail distribution. It is currently direct-to-consumer only.

“We’ve raised a little bit of money up until this point, but against the revenue we’ve generated it is essentially pennies and so we have been operating very much as a bootstrapped company to date,” Reid said. “Having a little bit more freedom to take those bigger, bolder bets is going to really serve the brand in the long run. Cult’s network and experience scaling beauty brands is exactly what we need to take our business to the next level.”

Woelfel said she sees retail as an opportunity. “Rachel’s not yet selling in some of the big, large volume beauty retailers like Sephora or Ulta so we see that as an enormous opportunity for the brand.”

Cult Capital has previously invested in Supergoop, Lawless Beauty, Act+Acre, Miyoko’s Kitchen and Jaanuu. It most recently sold a majority of its stake in Supergoop to Blackstone Growth for a significant return.

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