Many consumer goods companies want to reduce the negative impact their products make on the environment. For Grove Collaborative Inc., a retailer and manufacturer of natural home and personal care products, the goal is “more good, not just less bad,” says Stuart Landesberg, Grove’s co-founder and CEO.
Speaking Tuesday at the Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas, Landesberg says Grove sells products for consumers taking a hard look at the impact their consumption has on the environment.
A good example is the company’s Seedling line of bamboo-pulp paper products, such as napkins, bath tissue and paper towels, launched in 2018. Not only do the products use zero trees, but a portion of every Seedling purchase also goes to plant trees across the United States. The merchant is on track to plant 250,000 trees during the Seedling brand’s first year, Landesberg says.
The online retailer sells a “curated selection” of about 1,000 items, most of which are Grove brands. The assortment also includes goods from 60 brands that meet Grove’s criteria for sustainability, Landesberg says. Other brands sold on the site include Seventh Generation household goods, hello oral care products, Bee’s Wrap food-storage wrap and Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning supplies. About half the retailer’s sales come from the outside brands and half comes from Grove’s products, he says.
“When we think about who we want to partner with, we’re most excited to find brands who are looking with a 10- to 20-year view and thinking about a category that has produced a massive amount of waste and pollution and a massive amount of negative externalities and how we can change that over the long term together,” Landesberg says.
Launched in 2012, Grove, ranked No. 983 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000, sells products online under a subscription model. The retailer had 2018 revenue of $104.1 million, representing a three-year growth rate of 3,665%, according to Inc. magazine. Inc. ranked Grove No. 87 in its annual ranking of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States.
With growth like that, it’s not surprising it has been a hit with investors. Earlier this month, the company raised $150 million in a Series D venture capital round, bringing its total funding to more than $250 million. The latest funding was based on a valuation above $1 billion, making Grove a “unicorn” company. The funding round was co-led by Lone Pine Capital, General Atlantic and Glynn Capital.
Grove said it plans to use the new capital to expand into the “clean” beauty products category and invest further in its sustainable packaging and supply chain. It also will invest in the growth of its Grove Guide program, a personalized concierge service staffed by experts on healthy and sustainable homes. Grove says 50% of its customers are trying natural home and personal care products for the first time.
In addition to its fast sales growth, Grove has been growing via acquisition. In August, Grove acquired Sustain Natural. Launched in 2015, Sustain is a direct-to-consumer manufacturer of natural period care and sexual wellness products for women. In April, Grove bought Darby Smart, a video community founded in 2013 that focuses on beauty, home decor and do-it-yourself projects.
Going forward, the company will consider future acquisitions, when they make sense and are consistent with the company’s mission, Landesberg says.
“We’re always looking at [mergers and acquisitions] as a way to accelerate the timeline to bring great products to the consumer,” Landesberg says.Favorite