Lifefactory, Inc., known for its colorful silicone wrappers to protect glass bottles for people on the go, said the Sausalito-based consumer products company has closed a $5 million Series C round of growth equity financing.
The funds will be used to expand the team, accelerate product development and build the brand, the company said. Silas Capital chipped in $4 million for the latest funding round, and the rest came from major shareholders Greenhouse Capital Partners, dCapital, FOFM and Big Sky Partners. The 8-year-old company has raised $10 million so far, according to a spokesman.
The latest funding comes amid sustained expansion and performance for Lifefactory (lifefactory.com, 415-729 9820), whose revenue grew by more than 750 percent in the last five years and has been profitable since 2012. By comparison, sales of housewares grew 5.9 percent in the U.S. in 2013 and 2.6 percent globally, based on the latest figures from the International Housewares Association (housewares.org).
“We believe we have a significant opportunity to help our customers live healthier and happier lives,” said Roy Mabrey, CEO of Lifefactory. “We have expanded from an initial line of baby bottles to a full assortment of product for happy, healthy families and believe we can leverage our brand platform to continue to deliver dramatic growth globally.”
The company estimates the global market for baby, hydration, glassware and food-storage products globally is several billion dollars annually. Lifefactory employs 27, up by five positions recently. It expects to “hire aggressively to support growth over the next 12 months,” spokesman Scott Radcliffe said.
Pam Marcus and Daren Joy started the company in 2007 as Babylife, named for the initial focus on baby bottles without plastic containing bisphenol A and S (BPA and BPS). Those are chemicals found in certain plastics and resins and increasingly on consumers’ minds for health risks.
Lifefactory now makes reusable silicone-armored glass water bottles, baby bottles and 1- to 4-cup food storage containers. Its products are made in the U.S. and European Union, and are available in more than 3,000 retail locations and 20-plus countries. Retailers include Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond and Whole Foods Market. The glass water bottles have been best-sellers in Whole Foods as well as in the broader natural and specialty channel for consecutive years, Lifefactory said.
With the latest funding, Carter Weiss, a managing partner of Silas Capital, will join Lifefactory’s board of directors.
“The demand for healthy lifestyle brands, especially authentic ones like [made by] Lifefactory, whose products are made from exceptionally high-quality materials, will continue to grow,” Weiss said.
Marcus worked for 17 years as a pediatric physical therapist and feeding specialist at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland hospital before teaming with Joy, a designer and architect, to create more healthful baby bottles. The product line expanded to adult water bottles in 2010.
Lifefactory received $750,000 in venture funding in 2009 then $1.65 million in Series A financing in 2010.