Jessica Alba undoubtedly has star power and it has benefited Honest Company, a marker of eco-friendly baby products she co-founded in 2011.
The company raised $70 million in a recent funding round – adding to the already $52 million the company has raised since it launched three years ago. This round of funding was made possible by Wellington Management Company and existing investors such as Institutional Venture Partners, Iconiq Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners.
According to The Wall Street Journal, industry experts value the company’s worth at nearly $1 billion.
The company’s annual revenue is expected to exceed $150 million, which is three times the revenue of 2013, and those involved attribute Alba’s star power to the startup’s early success.
“She is an international star. We’re starting to see a lot of demand from her fans around the world,” said Jeremy Liew, a partner with early investor Lightspeed Venture Partners, told The Wall Street Journal. “This idea of non-toxic, chemical-free products has resonated around the world in developed and developing countries.”
The Honest Company, which was co-founded with Christopher Gavigan, Sean Kane and Brian Lee, sells natural, non-toxic items ranging from household cleaning supplies to baby products that are sold online and at select retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada. According to a report by Dow Jones VentureWire, the company is in talks to expand to China.
“We believe being a company is the best path for us going forward and it’s good to get that validation early on,” said Lee, who serves as the company’s chief executive. “I can’t say when that will be, but we are definitely starting to think and act like a public company.”
In an interview with The Associated Press after the company launched, Alba, a mother of two, said she came up with the idea after learning that toxic chemicals were widely used in everyday products.
"I would buy what I thought was like an eco-brand and pay out the wazoo for it and then find out that it's made with the same ingredients as any other brand, but the packaging is a little more biodegradable and you're like `But I care about the product touching my kid. Is that OK?'"
In a press release released by the company, Alba said the investors are helping the company “make a meaningful impact in the marketplace.”
“We dream big at The Honest Company and continuously strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable – today and in the future,” she said.