Lightspeed backs Lady Gaga's makeup startup amid spike in beauty funding

July 12, 2018 View comment (1)
Lady Gaga is known for creating hit songs—and now she's hoping to achieve success in the startup world, too.

The musician is a founder of a new cosmetics company called Haus Beauty, the existence of which was originally discovered by a website called The Blast via trademark filings back in May. And now, reports have emerged that venture capital investors have taken an interest, with Lightspeed Venture Partners making an investment in Haus Beauty, per Recode.

The funding comes amid a boom in venture capital for US-based makeup and beauty companies. So far in 2018, investors have poured about $464 million into startups in the space, per the PitchBook Platform. That's already more than any other year in the last decade, and we're only a little over halfway through 2018. Deal count is on pace to surpass the total from nearly every other year, too:
The relationship between Lightspeed and Haus Beauty isn't surprising, given the early-stage firm's focus on both consumer companies and startups founded by celebrities. Nicole Quinn, the Lightspeed partner who's said to be leading the investment in Haus Beauty, has also backed Gwyneth Paltrow's startup, Goop, which has an ecommerce component.

Lightspeed's portfolio also includes The Honest Company, Jessica Alba's direct-to-consumer personal care business. There's a relationship between The Honest Company and Haus Beauty, too—the ecommerce company's former chief digital officer, Ben Jones, is reportedly leading operations at Haus Beauty—though it's not clear if Lightspeed served as a link.

As the chart above shows, other investors are also jumping into the beauty and makeup space, especially this year. Among the companies that have brought in venture funding so far in 2018 are Glossier, the direct-to-consumer makeup company that raised $52 million in February, and Mented Cosmetics, a beauty line geared toward diverse skin tones that closed a $3 million round in May.

Aside from Lady Gaga (whose given name is Stefani Germanotta), a few other celebrities have founded makeup companies, though they haven't necessarily relied on VC funding. Kylie Jenner used $250,000 of her own money to launch Kylie Cosmetics, a move that ensures she's the sole owner of her $800 million makeup business, per Forbes. Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, which reportedly launched last year, has proven to be a hit, too.

Check out the full data on investment in the beauty and makeup industry.


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