Drew Barrymore on investing in natural goods retailer Grove Collaborative
A Hollywood mainstay for nearly her entire life, Drew Barrymore has one of the longest and most versatile résumés in the entertainment industry, from actress to director to producer. Currently hosting her own popular daytime talk show, Barrymore has also worked on a number of business ventures over the years, including a wine label, a line of cookware, and a lifestyle brand.
Most recently, Barrymore made an investment in Grove Collaborative, an online retailer for natural household and personal care products hawking items from brands like Mrs. Meyer’s and Method, as well as goods sold under its own label.
Barrymore recently shared more with Fortune about her decision to invest in the company as well as her role as a “sustainability advocate” for the brand, which includes a mix of activism, content creation, and product development.
- Startup: Grove Collaborative
- Location: San Francisco
- Year founded: 2012
- Valuation: $1.5 billion
- Investment level: Series E
- Number of employees: More than 1,000 full-time
- Other major investors: Lone Pine Capital, Glynn Capital, General Atlantic, Greenspring Associates, Mayfield Fund, NextView Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, MHS Capital, and Heron Rock Capital
Why she invested, in her own words
A few years ago, my best friend challenged me to be more sustainable at home. I looked around my house and realized that everything I used for cleaning was packaged in single-use plastic. Hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, sponges, glass cleaner. You name it, it came in plastic that was used just once. And when I learned that U.S. companies create 76 million pounds of plastic packaging every day but only 9% of plastic gets recycled—no matter how much we all put in the recycling bin—that fact just blew my mind. I immediately started searching for products that were truly sustainable, and that’s when I found Grove Collaborative.
When that first Grove box landed on my front step, I was in love: refillable cleaning systems in glass and aluminum; laundry detergent and hand-soap sheets (yes, sheets!) that are totally plastic-free and dissolve in water like magic. And no plastic waste. That kind of innovation is so inspiring to me.
So I was a customer before I was an investor. In that way, I really understood what it was all about. Beyond the fact that the products work and smell amazing, the customer service is real, responsive, and human. And Grove is committed to being 100% plastic-free by 2025. That kind of bold action is really exciting to me. They aren’t sitting back and waiting for the world to change, they’re making it change now.
My entire life is built around optimism. That’s my personality and that’s how I run my businesses. The climate crisis is frightening and overwhelming, but I believe the best way forward is to take strong action together.
We need to think outside of yesterday’s solutions. Who needs a giant plastic jug? Nobody! Grove and I—and consumers everywhere—agree that the world needs to stop making new plastic. And we also need to make it easier for everyone to switch to more sustainable home-care routines. Grove is meeting customers where they are with affordable, sustainable solutions that don’t just work, but work better than the conventional alternatives. That feels great to me as a customer, and it feels right to me as a brand partner and investor. With Grove, I’m helping to create a better world for my kids—and that’s my number one investment philosophy.
This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.