The French natural cosmetics company Universal Beauty Group, known for its Végétalement Provence brand, announces a EUR 6 million capital raise from a group of investors led by Connect Pro, an investment fund based in Marseille, alongside the private equity funds BNP Paribas Développement and Etoile Capital.

Following the transaction, the founders, Vincent Faraco and Jean-Marc Delabre, will remain reference shareholders and will continue to lead the group.

The investors’ entry into the company’s capital will allow the business to accelerate its development in the rapidly expanding natural beauty sector, a market expected to show annual growth of 6-9% over the period 2021-2027.

This transaction follows the first investment in the company’s capital in 2017 made by the private-equity fund Audacia, whose support has made it possible to double the number of product references and open three own-brand concept salons alongside about twenty independent concept salons under the Végétalement Provence brand.

Natural hair products

Today the brand offers a range of over 275 different beauty product references including 140 in hair and skincare for the general public, covering all needs. For professional hairderessers, Végétalement Provence offers a range of more than 130 colouring references, with an offer by oxidation and an organic offer based on plant powder.

In 2008, Universal Beauty Group started as a distributor of haircare brands before launching its own brand Végétalement Provence in 2011 to offer hairdressing professionals a technical product that was kinder to the environment and customers’ health. “In the space of a few years, Végétalement Provence has become a premium beauty brand recognized as much by professionals as by a general public in search of wellness,” said the company in a statement.

With 170,000 products sold in 2020, Universal Beauty Group forecasts sales of EUR 4 million in 2021, with an EBITDA margin of around 20%. The brand is distributed via more than 500 points of sale and through its own e-shop: 70% of sales are made in mainland France, 15% in the French island of Reunion, and 15% internationally.

Currently focused on its domestic market, the new round of financing will allow the company to consolidate its international expansion. A significant investment will be dedicated to the digital development of the brand and to support e-commerce.

The company also plans to open a concept store in Paris in Spring 2022.