A personal letter from the Medik8 founder on the news of strategic investment from Inflexion
Hello Medik8 family, friends and fans,
Today is an exciting and rather emotional day as I get the chance to share our huge news and where I have the great honour to thank you all.
Having never before taken a penny of outside finance, last week, we signed an investment deal with a strategic growth investor called Inflexion. My feet haven't touched the ground yet, but now the news has gone public (press release), I want to take the chance to update you all on what this means for the brand and why we have done this (spoiler alert - it’s all incredibly exciting….)
Back in 2009, Medik8 was a tiny unknown brand with a simple concept of the CSA Philosophy grounded in science. With the support of you all, we have seen incredible growth over the last few years and have finally reached a point of authority and true visibility within the beauty conversation. But we do not let that get to our heads - most people have probably never heard of us. But that is about to change. And we will never forget our roots and what has got us to this point.
THE INVESTMENT JOURNEY
The simple truth is that we are still tiny compared with the beauty majors - a rounding error in their numbers - yet we have so much more to do. Continuing to democratise the active skincare space; based on proven science, truth and ingredients that really work to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy Beautiful Skin for Life. At the beginning of 2020, we realised that we simply could not grow at the pace we needed without financial and strategic help from outside experts. Demand was just too great to satisfy and the challenges of Brexit meant that further international expansion was being hampered by our size. We hope to open a new ‘Innovation Centre’ in 2022 to triple space, increase our technological capacity and take our research infrastructure to new heights. But of course, this needs considerable expenditure.
We are truly lucky to be in a position that even before we appointed advisors to help us find the right investor, we already had so much interest to invest in Medik8. At one point I would receive 2 or 3 emails a week on the subject! I have been bowled over by the love shown for the Medik8 brand and our customer base. Yet while every financier (contrary to my own unfounded, and now rather embarrassing preconceptions) was incredibly generous and helpful, there was one investor group that stood out head and shoulders above all the rest - in the sense they were perfectly aligned with our objectives and future growth plans. And they are called Inflexion (see their charitable 2020 report here - they are the good guys).
Still rather shy that we had all this interest, and at all times grateful for the trust being shown to us, I was still pretty bold in setting clear “red lines” that would need to be met in order for us to agree to any investment. And they were rather simple:
✔ Our customers are everything - we will not be changing service, prices or formulas
✔ Our heritage as a professional-led brand is paramount - yes, the internet is important but we must always support our existing professional channels.
✔ Our CSA Philosophy is the core research focus and where I want our innovation to continue and thrive.
✔ While product excellence is vital to the Medik8 brand, the ‘skinsider’ community is about more than product - our values matter just as much. Whether it is our passion for animal welfare via the Zipper Foundation, fighting against injustice, our roadmap to sustainability or our ethical sourcing - this must continue and even accelerate.
They beamed a smile as if this is what they were waiting to hear. And in response, the people at Inflexion quite simply said “Yes, Yes, Yes and definitely Yes - this is why we have been following you!” They went on to say “We have wanted to invest in a skincare brand for a long time and do not have any other skincare brand in our portfolio. We want to back you and your team for exactly these reasons. We believe that Medik8 is the future and see our role as opening doors for you and backing your vision. We think Medik8 could be a truly global brand.” (can it get any better!)
It is quite true that a premier league investor like Inflexion could have the pick of brands looking for growth investment, but like us, they were waiting for the perfect match. For those of you who do not know the process (count me in that 6 months ago), you have to go through a rigorous programme before investment takes place, and that includes formulating a comprehensive long-term business plan which everyone agrees on. All the above pieces are included.
SO WHAT WILL CHANGE
If not clear above, nothing. Unless one means for the better. This is all about growth. We want to offer ‘Beautiful Skin for Life’ to hundreds of thousands more skincare fans. This means expanding all our facilities, research capabilities and teams. We will be innovating even more and empowering people all over the world who have never heard of Medik8 (can you believe such a thing!). To share the joy of formula simplicity and transparency that Medik8 fans in existing markets have come to know. To keep pushing the boundaries of vitamin C, Sunscreen and vitamin A research (we have something special coming this summer - but I am sworn to secrecy). To further demystify skincare results and provide what it really takes for products to deliver for skin health, as much as for skin ageing. One thing you will notice in the coming months is more on our motto of ‘skincare you love, trust and believe in’ as we double down on our ethical values and launch our roadmap to sustainability. So much of the discussion about skin ageing is preachy and we shall endevour that our conversation continues to be fun, positive and informative - and never scaremongering nor judgemental.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TEAM
Please join me in sending the warmest congratulations to our whole team. When you receive that perfect hand-wrapped delivery, this is the work of our super logistics team who care about quality and meeting your expectations as much as the lab team, the people in marketing and all the management. We've already received congratulations and excitement from some of our most loyal and eagle-eyed followers (who clearly have a Google Alert set for Medik8 press releases) via our DMs and will ensure we continue to share them with our incredible team over the coming weeks. We read every message.
Let me close by once again thanking you all. Truly. I want to thank each and every Medik8 customer for all your love and support, whether you have just joined us, or have been with us since the beginning. Your Medik8 brand will now be able to innovate the future and take on the world - and without you, we would certainly not be in this position. And to all the amazing and uber-knowledgeable skin bloggers and influencers who champion Medik8 - thank you, thank you - we are so excited to be able to continue our fun collaborations, to keep on spreading the word of science and ingredients and keep delighting your fans with innovation and positivity.
Medik8 will now go from strength to strength and we could not be more excited.
Ps. Every single member of staff is on course for an extra special bonus at the end of the year.
Pps. This is our last announcement, and I will now treat myself to a glass of champagne (couldn't celebrate until we have told you all) and to my family’s delight I will turn off my email for an hour!!