True Beauty Ventures and Unilever Ventures Bet on Fragrance

True Beauty Ventures (TBV) and Unilever Ventures (UV) have announced a minority investment in clean fragrance brand The 7 Virtues. It’s the first time either venture capital firm has made a fragrance investment, and signals ongoing investor confidence in the sector.

Prestige fragrance has been a particularly strong category, with sales up 56 percent against pre-pandemic levels last year according to market research firm Circana, and unit sales up almost a quarter. Gen Z are also significant users, with 83 percent using fragrance in 2023, up 5 percent from the previous year.

The 7 Virtues was founded in 2010 by Barb Stegemann, who remains its majority shareholder. The company has pitched its scents as free from ingredients such as parabens and sulphates, and cruelty-free with a high concentration of fragrance oils, chiming with a wider trend towards “clean” perfume, wherein consumers look for blends they perceive to be both more natural and without potential irritants, but also longer-lasting on the skin.

TBV’s portfolio includes buzzy brands like K18, Crown Affair and Maude, while UV’s includes Saie, Sachajuan and The Nue Co.

The 7 Virtues is stocked in Sephora stores in North America, Canada, Europe and Australia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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