Unilever & True Beauty Ventures Invest in Clean Fragrance Brand

Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Unilever Group, has joined forces with True Beauty Ventures, a U.S.-based investment firm specializing in scaling beauty and wellness brands, to complete the first institutional financing round for The 7 Virtues—marking the first time either investor has chosen to invest in the fragrance category.

About The 7 Virtues

The 7 Virtues aims to stand as “a beacon of social and environmental consciousness” pioneering the clean and sustainably sourced fragrance category.
Founded in Canada in 2010 by entrepreneur, author and activist Barb Stegemann, the brand is the thesis of her best-selling bookThe 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen – a woman’s guide to living and leading in an illogical world.
With a high 22% fragrance oil concentration, The 7 Virtues’ long-lasting aromatherapy fragrances are designed to harness the power of scent to propel clients toward their aspirations. The company is also pending B-Corp certification.

The Fragrances

The 7 Virtues’ contemporary fragrance collection includes a sought-after mix of heroes, Vanilla Woods, Coconut Sun, Cherry Ambition, Lotus Pear and Santal Vanille, which are available exclusively on the brand’s website and at Sephora in 18 countries including Canada, U.S., UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Ingredients are sustainably sourced from around the world. The fragrances are also cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and free of phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and sulfates. The brand has earned the Clean + Planet Positive seal from Sephora, awarded only to the most ambitious clean and planet-positive brands.
Notably the brand’s perfume Vanilla Woods has established loyalty as a sought-after favorite at Sephora. Vanilla Woods is even being bundled with a copy of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen book during the holidays, making it the first book ever sold at Sephora U.S. & Canada online and in stores. 
The 7 Virtues global sales outpace the fragrance industry’s growth with year-on-year revenue growth of over 80% in FY 2023.

About the Investment

The joint investment from Unilever Ventures and True Beauty Ventures will equip The 7 Virtues with the resources to open a New York office to bolster their team and magnify its global expansion with Sephora to create significant inventory to keep up with the rapid demand and open a “Maison” in Nova Scotia, Canada, where clients can come visit and create their own bespoke perfume with classics like Vanilla Woods and Cherry Ambition.
“We are thrilled to partner with Barb Stegemann and The 7 Virtues for Unilever Ventures’ first investment in fragrance. The 7 Virtues has cracked the code on creating long-lasting, perfumes using sustainable ingredients that their loyal customers love, along with their empowering and authentic story,” says Anna Ohlsson-Baskerville, Partner at Unilever Ventures. “Driven by its philosophy, The 7 Virtues is elevating from an exciting indie brand to a legacy brand and we’re delighted to be a part of its growth journey.”
This partnership is emblematic of not only a strong business collaboration but also a shared mission to drive positive transformation within the fragrance industry and the communities to which The 7 Virtues supports through its social enterprise.
“We set out to change the world through fragrance, to sow the seeds of prosperity over conflict, and now our perfumes are peace. When Sephora took a chance on our little-known brand in 2018, they told us they loved that we take on serious world issues, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Stegemann, CEO of The 7 Virtues. Our goal to advance period equity as a means to build peace by empowering women at home and abroad and giving them back control over their reproductive rights is the path to lasting change.
Barb Stegemann remains the majority shareholder.

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