Jessica Alba’s startup, Honest Company, adds $25 million
FORTUNE — The Honest Company today announced that it has raised $25 million in new venture capital funding, led by existing investor Institutional Venture Partners. This is the Los Angeles-based maker of branded all-natural/non-toxic diapers and other baby and kids products, whose co-founders include actress Jessica Alba and ShoeDazzle/LegalZoom founder Brian Lee.
Other investors include General Catalyst Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and ICONIQ Capital.
We spent some time discussing the deal with IVP principal Eric Liaw, who is taking an Honest Co. board seat in connection with the transaction. A few notes:
1. This is an unusual investment for IVP, in that it is a growth-stage investor that has now participated in both a Series A and Series B round. Liaw largely chalks that up to IVP’s past relationship with Lee via a 2011 LegalZoom investment. “Yeah, it’s a little outside our sweet spot, but we were very attracted to the team,” Liaw explains. “Brian Lee is a successful serial entrepreneur, and we really believe Honest can be bigger than any of the other companies he’s founded.”
2. On investing in a company whose president is a working actress: “It was something we talked about at the outset, but it hasn’t been much of an issue. Her time is a bit more unorthodox than the typical founder, but just she and [fellow co-founder] Chris Gavigan were in Canada for a full week making a press tour announcing our launch. At the end of the day, everyone is multi-tasking, but the time commitment is certainly there.”
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3. Liaw sees this as the company’s final round of outside funding. He believes that its next two major execution challenges are expanding its in-store retail presence (it has been running a test in Cosco since the summer) and international expansion (beyond the recent Canada launch). No word yet on where the next market will be, although Liaw says that an English-speaking market — such as the UK or Australia — may make the most sense.
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