Unilever creates and captures a unicorn with its plans to acquire Dollar Shave Club.
Announced this evening, the $130 billion dollar multinational consumer goods company is speculated to be paying $1 billion, all cash, for the startup, according to reports from Fortune.
If the pricing is true, the transaction will be one of the largest ever in e-commerce.
E-commerce is often a scary space for investors, but David Pakman, DSC investor and board member from Venrock, believes the space has a strong pulse.
Venrock, along with other investors, will be getting a true venture 10X return with the sale, if approved in Q3. Other well known VCs, including Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, and KPCB, have been a part of DSC’s growth. However, Battery and KPCB previously sold their shares and won’t be benefiting from the sale.
Woody Marshall, a Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), emphasized the rapid growth of brand recognition for the direct to consumer company. TCV was the largest investor in DSC and will be benefiting significantly from the exit.
Unilever approached DSC a while back wanting to build out a partnership without intentions to acquire the company. Talks escalated rapidly and a deal was put on the table and taken. Unilever offers DSC the ability to plug into existing international marking and distribution channels.
DSC has grown to become a dominant player in the male grooming business since its founding in 2012. Its revenue last year was $153 million and had planned on toppling $200 million in the next year. This transaction thus also would represent the largest multiple for a e-commerce startup in history.
The company’s 3.2 million members will be a valuable addition to Unilever and increase the company’s exposure to a growing demographic.
While best known for its shaving service, the company also produces mens wash, skincare, and and styling products.
Unilever will also benefit from Dollar Shave Club’s valuable customer data and existing customer base. Unilever plans to keep DSC’s CEO, Michael Dubin on through the transition and does not have plans to make any executive changes into the future.
Dubin has been the creative face for the company, appearing in advertising, and becoming a close part of the brand. DSC will be retaining its Los Angeles, CA headquarters.
We are reaching out to the companies involved and will have more shortly in this developing story.