‘More Like Reality’: In 2019, Hot DTC Brands Face Pressures To Prove Profitability

by MR Magazine Staff

When Walker & Company, the direct-to-consumer men and women’s health and beauty brand (formerly Bevel), sold to P&G this month, it was bittersweet. The company will now have the distribution network, budget and resources of one of the industry’s biggest corporations, elevating a brand designated for people of color to much more mass exposure. But after raising $33.3 million in four rounds of venture funding, Walker & Company is said to have sold to P&G at a price that earned its investors the majority, but not all, of their money back, according to Recode. In the history of the DTC era, there haven’t been enough exits, successful or not, to gauge whether or not the category is a good investment. Bonobos sold for $310 million after raising $128 million, but it was to Walmart, a move that made fans of the brand cringe. The Honest Company, which has raised a staggering total of $500 million in venture capital, has been said to be exploring both a sale or an IPO but has been held back by a number of lawsuits over product claims. Dollar Shave Club did hit the jackpot, by selling early: It sold to Unilever after five years in business for $1 billion, nearly 10 times the amount it raised, in 2016. Read more at Digiday.