The Laundress, an eco-friendly maker of high-end laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, was acquired by Unilever as Unilever looks to expand its eco-friendly offering. While the deals of the transaction were not publicly disclosed, sources with knowledge of the transaction have pegged the acquisition price of the deal at $100M. The UBS banker who led Unilever’s acquisition of Dollar Shave Club spearheaded this transaction as well. “We are thrilled to join the Unilever family. Together we have a unique opportunity to magnify and accelerate our mission of bringing our eco-friendly, fabric care products to every laundry room in the world,” remarked Lindsey Boyd, cofounder of The Laundress.
Founded by Gwen Whiting and Boyd, who met in college at Cornell, in 2004, The Laundress never took on any outside investment and was bootstrapped since the beginning. Whiting and Boyd will stay on to lead the business and headquarters from New York.
“With its line of beautifully crafted eco-friendly products and fast-growing following in the US and China, particularly among millennials, The Laundress is a strong addition to our portfolio of leading Home Care brands. Its distribution network across specialty retailers, direct-to-consumer and e-commerce, combined with Unilever’s global reach creates an ideal launch pad towards giving more people around the world the distinct ‘The Laundress’ experience,” said Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever’s Home Care business.
The Laundress currently has 85 different products across the laundry and home care segments sold online and in-store with a presence in retailers like Bloomingdales, Dean and Deluca, and The Container Store through over 15,000+ wholesale partnerships. Unilever plans to leverage its existing infrastructure and networks to expand the distribution. Aside from Dollar Shave Club, Unilever has acquired thirty-six companies including Murad, Seventh Generation, and Dermalogica. The company also operates its own London-based venture capital arm, Unilever Ventures, that has made over 80 reported investments including twelve investments in 2018.
“We are thrilled to join the Unilever family. Together we have a unique opportunity to magnify and accelerate our mission of bringing our eco-friendly, fabric care products to every laundry room in the world,” remarked Lindsey Boyd, cofounder of The Laundress.