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Led by Cyndi Tetro, Brandless raises one of the largest funding rounds to date.

Brandless raises $118 million

On August 4, 2021, Brandless announced it has raised $118 million in equity and debt financing. Led by Cydni Tetro, Brandless has secured one of the largest funding rounds led by a female CEO to date, and the largest round in Utah for a woman-led tech company. The round was led by Provo-based Family Office Clarke Capital Partners. Keystone National Group of Salt Lake City, UT provided a senior debt facility. 

Created in 2017 in San Francisco, Brandless was acquired by Clarke Capital Partners in 2020. Clarke Partners immediately brought the company to Utah. In December 2020 Clarke tapped Tetro to lead it. 

TechBuzz sat down with Cyd Tetro to find out more about the background and mission of the company. And we asked her about the company’s plan for using these funds.

The company’s mission has always been focused on “making it easier for people to take care of themselves, their families, and the planet by creating and democratizing access in the ‘better for you’ category within the Direct to Consumer (DTC) e-commerce space,” says Tetro. When asked about the meaning behind the company name, Tetro explains, “We want to remove the frills from branding and instead focus on creating great products that allow people to ‘live more’ and ‘brand less.’”

With this raise in place the company plans to acquire approximately one digitally-native company per month, both within Utah and outside the state, that shares Brandless’ vision for providing ‘better-for-you’ products centered on personal wellness and home products. “Consumers care a lot about the impact companies and products have on their lives, their families, their communities, and the planet,” says Tetro. “With this investment we see an opportunity to acquire like-minded, mission-driven companies that expand our product portfolio.”

“Clarke Capital has a sweet spot in CPG,” says Tetro. “They have repeatedly taken companies from millions to billions and then to IPO. Brandless was the perfect company for them to acquire and bring here to Silicon Slopes. And they brought me in to create a strong fundraising arm and to use technology to transform and fulfill the mission of the company.”

Since its founding in 2017 in San Francisco, Brandless has raised a total of $292.5M in funding over four rounds, according to Crunchbase. The company’s latest funding, a $240 million Series C led by Softbank’s Vision Fund, was raised on Jul 31, 2018, putting the company’s pre-money valuation at $260 million. At that time the company had become fast-growing values-driven online marketplaces with a validated Direct to Consumer business model.

Fast forward to 2020, Clarke Capital Partners, bullish on Brandless’ strong foundation and growth potential, acquired the company for an undisclosed amount. Clarke Capital has invested in other mission-driven companies over the years, including Clearlink, PetIQ, Contour, and Better Choice Company.

“We have millions of customers, thousands of new product requests, hundreds of products and categories, and dozens of marketplace partners. And now, with Cydni and her proven leadership, we have an unprecedented ability to realize this transformative multichannel vision,” says James Clarke, managing partner and CEO of Clarke Capital. “We are committed to making it easy for people to make good choices when it comes to their health and well-being. Our acquisitions of better-for-you, digitally-native brands will expand our footprint.” 

Brandless is now headquartered in Draper, Utah. The company has just over 100 employees, half of which are located in Utah, and all are working remotely. “We have 100 percent embraced the hybrid remote work style of making people accountable while allowing them to work in the environments that are best suited for them,” says Tetro. “We have team members in Minnesota, Florida, Utah, and other states. We’re all about creating a culture of collaboration wherever people need to work.”

Acquiring one new company per month is an aggressive strategy. We asked Tetro how she plans to manage this strategy within the company’s culture. “We believe in a data-driven structure in which people can test and optimize concepts and theories, and then scale them,” says Tetro. “In valued conversations we set very clear measures of success, the things people have the ability to make decisions on, when to escalate, etc. Because I come out of technology and software, I’m very passionate about creating agile environments where people can test, optimize, fail fast, and build. I believe that’s core to how you build great things, and that’s how we’re going to grow Brandless into a great company.”

Brandless raises $118 million was originally published on TechBuzz.news

Mark is an EdTech Pioneer, Tech Advocate, Entrepreneur, and Jazz Saxophonist. Born and raised in Ogden, Mark attended BYU and Tufts University. He is father of five beautiful, energetic children and is married to the talented and wise Michelle. He is a TechBuzz Co-Founder and serves as its Managing Director.