Nashville-based personal-care brand Beast Brands has closed its Series A funding round of over $3 million that included participants Callais Capital Management, Sand Hill Angels, and Capital Innovators.
Founded in 2014 by John Cascarano, Beast Brands produces vegan and cruelty-free personal-care products in the U.S. with locally and globally sourced ingredients. Cascarano said the brand was born from his previous venture, Lock & Mane, made for women. He sold that business and focused on Beast Brands full time.
Callais Capital Management, a New Orleans-based investment firm that sought out the brand, according to Cascarano, led the funding round. In addition, Capital Innovators held an accelerator program that Beast Brands had participated in.
Cascarano said the $3 million raised in the round is to be applied primarily to marketing. The brand advertises on Google, Facebook and YouTube, but it “will continue from a higher level,” said Cascarano, and they will add podcast advertisements as well.
They are also seeking more athletes to work with to join U.S. Women’s World Cup Champion and Olympian Kelley O’Hara, who joined the brand as vice president of brand engagement and product strategy in 2019. Beast is seeking athletes in the NFL and looking at skateboarders and other athletes not competing in the big three sports.
“We want someone who, when he is in, he is all in and if he is a shareholder then he is involved and active charitably. That’s the kind of person we want,” said Cascarano. He added that they’ve created an equity pool within the company to bring in talent.
Cascarano said Beast did $1.5 million in direct-to-consumer sales and is projected to do $5 million this year. “I think we’ve made some incremental improvements on the site plus some promotional stuff,” he said.
In regards to business during COVID-19, he said, “We’ve seen our online sales go up significantly. We’ve seen our average order value go from $30 to $50, we’ve seen women buy more on our site and we’ve also experimented with promotions.” The Bar Soap and Wash for Everyone that are essential “hero” products for the brand grew 220 percent.
“The fact that we’ve managed to keep selling and shipping while things have been crazy has been good for the brand,” he said.