Ultra Violette raises $15m from Aria Growth Partners to fund NA expansion

Ultra Violette, a premium sunscreen brand based in Melbourne, marks its fifth anniversary with a $15m raise from Aria Growth Partners. This funding and strategic partnership signals the brand's ambitious expansion into the North American market. The parties were previously in talks about the deal since September last year.

Transaction Snapshot

  • Deal Value: $15 million
  • Deal Type: Growth equity
  • Investors: Aria Growth Partners
  • Founders: Rebecca Jefferd and Ava Chandler-Matthews

Founded by Rebecca Jefferd and Ava Chandler-Matthews, Ultra Violette has established itself as a leading brand in the sunscreen industry. The company is gearing up to extend its reach to North America, following its successful venture in various international markets. From March, Ultra Violette products will be available at Sephora Canada, with the brand's founders aspiring to enter the US market. The brand is already a fixture in major retailers like Sephora, Space NK, Liberty, Harrods and Net-A-Porter.

This capital raise is seen as a stepping stone for Ultra Violette to leverage resources and knowledge for their expansion into North America. Both Jefferd and Chandler-Matthews will continue in their roles within the company.

The partnership, facilitated by Canterbury Partners, underwent a unique culture fit test, reflecting the brand's values and workplace ethos. Aria Growth Partners, co-founded by Trevor Nelson and Jackie Dunklau, invests in brands with revenues ranging from $US10m to $US50m. The involvement of a female partner close to the founders' age is seen as beneficial for implementing the company's vision.

This deal is part of a growing trend of investments in Australian beauty brands, with significant international interest in niche brands with strong followings that offer high product margins. 

Ultra Violette, which previously operated from a co-working space, has moved to its own offices in Melbourne’s Cremorne and is planning to expand its 21-person team, including roles in key markets like the UK and the US. The founders are focused on overcoming regulatory barriers in the US sunscreen market and are committed to creating globally scalable formulations while maintaining product excellence. In the next 12 months, they anticipate significant changes in the business, particularly with the potential growth in the US market.

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