Unilever to buy Seventh Generation, marking another win for a VC-backed B2C company
September 20, 2016
Multinational consumer goods company Unilever (NYSE: UN) has agreed to acquire VC-backed Seventh Generation, a provider of home and personal care products. Fortune has the deal valued between $600 million and $700 million in cash. The news comes just days after reports that Unilever is in talks to buy the The Honest Company—which targets a market similar to that of Seventh Generation—for over $1 billion. So continues a rather active M&A period for Unilever, having agreed to acquire VC-backed Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion just two months ago.
While the question of whether consumer goods companies are suited for venture capital has been debated for some time, this string of acquisitions should to some degree provide an answer. And although many argue it’s difficult to create outsized returns from the consumer sector, 1,581 venture investors have participated in at least one of 2,052 B2C deals in the US since the start of 2014, according to the PitchBook Platform. 2015 saw $8.9 billion invested, up from $7.4 billion the year prior, though this year is lagging somewhat at just under $4 billion thus far.
Here are the 11 most active VC investors in US B2C since the start of 2014, along with their investment counts.