Female-founded vitamin brand BEARS WITH BENEFITS is acquired by French market leader HAVEA Group

11-Nov-2022 - Germany

avea, European market leader in Natural Health, acquires Munich-based femhealth startup BEARS WITH BENEFITS, which develops and distributes nutritional supplements around women's health in the form of gummies.

Bears with Benefits

BEARS WITH BENEFITS founders Laurence Saunier and Marlena Hien

Founded in 2018 by Laurence Saunier and Marlena Hien in Munich, BEARS WITH BENEFITS has written an impressive success story in just 4 years and is now the market leader in the rapidly growing gummy vitamin market in Europe. The company sells its tasty little bears in perfumery and drugstore retailers (including dm, Rossmann, Douglas) as well as through its own online stores in Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland. Fueled by an active community of over 150,000 social media followers, the D2C ("direct-to-consumer") channel is now the brand's most important sales channel. The company, which already generated more than EUR1m in sales in its first full financial year, has so far grown without investors ("bootstrapped") at 3-digit growth rates per year. Besides Germany, Italy represents the most important foreign market.

The product range, which is developed in cooperation with the community as well as nutritional physician Dr. med. Anne Latz and produced in Germany, consists of about twenty dietary supplements made from natural ingredients, without artificial additives or allergens and is mostly sugar-free. This meets the expectations of young, mostly female consumers who are looking for healthy solutions that are easy to integrate into everyday life. The brand's image, the founders' marketing expertise, and efficient distribution have enabled BEARS WITH BENEFITS to achieve sales of approximately 15 million euros in 2022.

With their digital expertise, coupled with Havea's operational and financial resources, BEARS WITH BENEFITS will be able to expand in its current geographic territories and enter new markets to become the leading femhealth brand in Europe. In addition, founders Marlena Hien and Laurence Saunier will bring their knowledge of the direct-to-consumer world to Havea's strategic brands in order to optimize their digitalization strategy.

The acquisition of BEARS WITH BENEFITS is the first external growth transaction for Havea under its new ownership structure, following the acquisition of a majority stake by BC Partners and PSP Investments on October 11, 2022. This sixth acquisition in 6 years is in line with Havea's ambitious plan to become the European leader in Natural Health thanks to the continued organic growth of its brands and the intensification of its acquisition rate.

Laurence Saunier, Co-Founder of BEARS WITH BENEFITS, says: "Within 4 years, our brand has achieved great success and sustained growth, which we now intend to accelerate even further by partnering with Havea. In doing so, we remain true to our mission: to make the stressful daily lives of many women a little easier through our healthy and delicious products."

Marlena Hien, Co-Founder of BEARS WITH BENEFITS, says: "As an all-female founding team, we are particularly pleased to also take a pioneering role with this transaction. This is because only 4% of all exits in Europe are "female-led", i.e. have at least one woman in the founding team (source: Dealroom; refers to exits with company valuation >$20m). Last year, only 1.1% of Europe's VC deals went to all-female founding teams (source: Dealroom). We want to encourage more women to start companies and actively help them get more visibility and support in the still male-dominated financial world."

Nicolas Brodetsky, CEO of Havea, commented, "We are delighted to welcome BEARS WITH BENEFITS and its team to Havea. This young and agile brand, with whom we share many values, will strengthen the group with additional digital competences and the experience of a direct-to-consumer model. With this alliance, BEARS WITH BENEFITS will become our first brand in Germany, which has already proven its ability to cross borders. Havea will provide the human and financial resources needed to realize Marlena and Laurence's European ambitions."

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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