Walker & Company Brands, a startup making health and beauty products for people of color, has been acquired by consumer giant Procter & Gamble. Financials of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquired company will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the larger organization with its 15-person team moving to Atlanta.
Walker & Company Brands was founded five years ago by Tristan Walker and has raised $33.3 M in venture funding. The company subsequently launched 2 brands: Bevel – shaving products for men, and Form, a collection of hair products for women.
The move looks like it has smart upside for both companies. For P&G, Bevel adds a line of products meant to eliminate skin problems like razor bumps that disproportionally impact men of color. In the Form haircare, the acquiror benefits from cosmetics designed to be “inclusive” and work across a variety of hair types. Walker & Co. gets to tap into P&G’s research and development expertise — P&G spent $1.9 Bn on those efforts in 2017 — as well as its global retail relationships and supply chain efficiencies. It also gets marketing support from a parent that spent $7 Bn on advertising across all of its brands last year.
In the deal announcement Mr. Walker, CEO, said: “When I started Walker & Company Brands, I set out to build a company that would meet the health and beauty needs of people of color on a global scale. Having access to P&G’s outstanding technology, capabilities and expertise helps us to further realize that vision, giving us the power to scale and bring up new products.” After the transaction, Mr. Walker will continue to serve as CEO.