R.e.m. Beauty, the cosmetics brand founded by pop sensation Ariana Grande, has secured a significant investment led by Sandbridge Capital, a consumer-focused private investment firm. The funding round also included participation from Strand Equity, HYBE America, Live Nation Entertainment, and Universal Music Group. This strategic partnership aims to optimize the brand’s global potential through continued product innovation, talent acquisition, and geographic expansion to support its surging global demand.
Launched in November 2021, R.e.m. Beauty has already made a strong impact in the beauty market. The space-inspired label debuted in shops such as Ulta Beauty and quickly became a top seller for the chain in the first quarter of 2021. According to Forma Brands’ projections, R.e.m. Beauty reached $84 million in 2022. The brand is currently sold through its direct-to-consumer website, Ulta Beauty in the U.S., Sephora across Europe, and Selfridges in the U.K.
In February 2023, Ariana Grande entered into an agreement to buy back the assets of R.e.m. Beauty from Forma Brands for approximately $15 million. The deal was subject to bankruptcy court approval, as Forma Brands filed for Chapter 11 in January. Forma Brands had initially partnered with Grande in 2020 to develop, manufacture, market, sell, and distribute R.e.m. Beauty branded products.
Michelle Shigemasa, who was appointed CEO of R.e.m. Beauty in February, expressed her excitement about the partnership with Sandbridge Capital. She said in a statement, “This bespoke partnership with Ken Suslow and the Sandbridge team opens a world of opportunities for R.e.m. Beauty to supercharge our growth through focused investment and further scale R.e.m. Beauty’s already highly engaged audience of beauty enthusiasts.”
Sandbridge Capital has a history of investing in successful beauty brands, including U Beauty and Ilia Beauty. The firm’s investment in R.e.m. Beauty will help accelerate the brand’s multi-channel, cross-category global growth.
Ariana Grande has been actively involved in the development of R.e.m. Beauty, working on the venture for over two years and testing various products on tour or at press events. The brand has launched as a series of “drops” rather than a larger permanent collection, with Chapter 2 being released in March 2022. The range includes products such as concealer, eye shadow, lipstick, lip gloss, brow pencils and gels, highlighter, and eyeliner.
With this new investment from Sandbridge Capital, R.e.m. Beauty is poised for further international growth and continued success in the competitive beauty market.