SmileDirectClub launch Walmart partnership; Liquidity Capital invest in Resident


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: SmileDirectClub launch Walmart partnership; Liquidity Capital invest in Resident; and Ouai partner with Ulta.

SmileDirectClub launch Walmart partnership

SmileDirectClub has announced a partnership with Walmart to sell a new line of oral care products, including toothbrushes, teeth whitening treatments, a water flosser and more. For one of the top teledentistry companies, this represents a move to make its business more compelling to customers and investors alike.

Following news of the deal, SmileDirectClub  shares spiked, with the stock currently trading up about 21% at USD$10.19. That’s significant for a company that had one of the worst first-day performances of any initial public offering over USD$1bn in the U.S. since 2007. Still, SmileDirectClub’s stock is nowhere near its IPO price of USD$23.

SmileDirectClub’s  entrance into the more traditional dental care space is clearly a move to try to differentiate itself from the likes of smaller startups like Uniform Teeth  and Candid, while also creeping into oral healthcare startup Quip’s territory. As the dental care space gets more crowded, it’s no wonder why SmileDirectClub is looking to expand into already-proven business models.

Liquidity Capital invest in Resident

Liquidity Capital have announced their USD$12.5M trajectory-based funding agreement with Resident. The direct-to-consumer e-commerce retailtech startup owns and operates a house of consumer furnishing brands including: Nectar, DreamCloud, Level, Awara, Wovenly, Bundle and 1771 Living.

Resident plans to use the investment to further capitalize on its position as North America’s fastest growing e-commerce retailer and increase growth into additional home products. Liquidity Capital offers tech startups and SaaS providers a funding alternative, enabling them to double down on their hyper-growth without giving up equity. Their trajectory-based financing model allows Liquidity Capital to work with startups side-by-side, taking on all financial risk. 

“We are thrilled to be investing in Resident,” said Liquidity Capital Co-Founder and CEO, Ron Daniel. “Seeing as Resident is the fastest growing e-commerce retailer in North America, this investment strengthens our investment portfolio greatly. We are happy to be doubling down on e-commerce, pairing Resident with our investment in Le Tote, a leader in e-commerce fashion retail. We’re excited to watch the continued hyper-growth of Resident and give then any support needed along the way.”

Ouai partner with Ulta

Celebrity hairstylist and Ouai founder Jen Atkin is taking the biggest step yet in expanding her beauty empire by launching in Ulta stores. 

Atkin’s hair and bodycare brand will launch in all 1,200 Ulta Beauty stores, broadening its retail reach across the US. The brand launched online on Ulta.com on 1 January. Ulta, the largest beauty retailer in the country, is the brand’s most significant wholesale partnership to date. Currently, Ouai is sold in more than 400 Sephora doors after launching there in 2016, as well as in select Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and Space NK stores.

At Ulta, the brand will start by selling its 12 top-performing products, including the Scalp & Body Scrub and Super Dry Shampoo. For the first six weeks, Ouai will fully take over Ulta’s front-of-store nesting tables, making it the first brand to do so. Over time, more of the brand’s products will be available at the retailer, and in January, Ouai’s fragrance collection will launch on Ulta.com, to enter stores in February.

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