March 26, 2012, 11:20 AM

Celebrity e-commerce site nabs $27 million in funding

Actress Jessica Alba’s subscription service, The Honest Co., sells baby products.

Lead Photo

The Honest Company, an e-commerce site co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, raised $27 million from venture capitalists in its first funding round, the company says. The Honest Co. is a subscription service that delivers consumers baby products like diapers and wipes on a monthly basis. It launched in mid-January.

The e-retailer says the funding will help it to grow the company, establish its brand and develop more eco-friendly products.

The e-retailer’s CEO is Brian Lee, the founder of ShoeDazzle, an e-commerce site that follows a similar monthly subscription model, but for shoes. ShoeDazzle has reality TV star Kim Kardashian as its spokesperson.

The Honest Co.’s funding comes from venture capital firms General Catalyst, Institutional Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Lightspeed previously invested in ShoeDazzle. 

The Honest Co. sells its subscriptions at Visitors answer a handful of questions about their child—sex, name, age and weight—then another batch of questions about how they style their homes and what types of products they like. The site then delivers recommendations on product bundles each month. Products are made in the United States and are marketed as eco-friendly.

Alba is the president of The Honest Co. Christopher Gavigan, head of the nonprofit Healthy Child, Healthy World, is co-founder and chief products officer. Sean Kane, former vice president of sales at comparison shopping engine, is chief operations officer.

“We are truly encouraged by the depth of knowledge the Honest team embodies for creating a brand that truly resonates with consumers everywhere,” says Neil Sequeira, managing director at General Catalyst.

Lee’s prior venture, ShoeDazzle, was featured in Internet Retailer’s Hot 100 magazine issue, which highlights the most innovative online retailers of 2011. Order your copy of this special issue here.

Josh Goldman, general partner at venture capital firm Norwest, will speak at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago in June in a session titled “Striking the right deal when you go for funding.” The IRCE $200 early-bird discount expires Mar. 31.


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