Utah’s Brandless is poised to grow its e-commerce business with $ 118 million in new funding

ForgeDX CEO and Founder Cydni Tetro poses in the company’s Salt Lake City office on January 18, 2019. The company announced a whopping $ 118 million equity / debt financing round on Wednesday. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Brandless e-commerce company is new to Utah, but it wasn’t long before the online personal product retailer took its first big step as a Beehive company and raised a whopping $ 118 million in equity on Wednesday – / announced debt financing round.

Brandless came to the state through a 2020 acquisition by Provo-headquartered investment firm Clarke Capital Partners that wasted no time recruiting veteran Utah entrepreneur Cydni Tetro to fill the CEO position last January. Tetro’s first assignment was to organize a gigantic funding effort that Brandless says could be one of the biggest rounds of all time for a private woman-run company.

Tetro said the money will support a two-threat growth strategy that includes an aggressive acquisition plan and leverages the leverage of loyal, enthusiastic, and potentially money-inducing brandless social media customers.

“We are concentrating heavily on two core issues,” said Tetro. “Acquiring mission-oriented, like-minded brands and investing in our social commerce platform.

“It was really fun helping build the company and things are going so incredibly quickly. Our acquisition schedule is roughly one company per month. That is only possible if you have great opportunities and a great infrastructure. “

James Clarke, Managing Partner and CEO of Clarke Capital, said Tetro’s proven leadership role fits well with Brandless’ customer-centric expansion plans.

“We have millions of customers, thousands of new product inquiries, hundreds of products and categories, and dozens of marketplace partners,” said Clarke. “And now, with Cydni and her proven leadership, we have an unprecedented ability to deliver that transformative, multichannel vision,” Clarke said in a statement. “We strive to make it easy for people to make good decisions about their health and wellbeing. Our acquisitions of digital native brands that are more suitable for you will expand our presence. “

Brandless, which launched as a Bay Area startup in 2016, describes its niche as “better for you” products that include organic, non-toxic detergents and “cruelty-free and clean personal care products,” as well as a selection of small household items. Tetro said the acquisitions are likely to include new partner companies as well as products that will be grouped under the brandless label.

The company said the funding will also aid efforts to activate Brandless’ customer base by enabling individuals to become social influencers who can “stand up for their favorite products and monetize their social presence.” Brandless says that its customer community “has a long history of leading product development and validation, and the introduction of this influence-as-a-service to make each member a force for good promotes the company’s focus on collaboration over control, Quality over packaging and people over advertising. “

Tetro has not only launched and led a number of technology startups and advised companies such as Microsoft, Target and Disney, but is also a co-founder of the longstanding advocacy group Women Tech Council in Utah.

Tetro said social media tools have opened up new opportunities for companies to empower their customers as ambassadors, and she sees loyal users of brandless products as a group ready to promote products they believe are positive Have an impact on their families, their communities, and the planet.

“Brandless is transforming commerce by creating influence-as-a-service and democratizing access to products that are more suitable for you,” Tetro said in a statement. “By uniting brands with a mission and micro-influencers through technology, we are creating a platform that empowers everyone to accomplish mission and empowers them to be a force for good.”

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