Pharmaceutical company Bayer AG has agreed to buy a majority stake in online personalized vitamin and supplement startup Care/of, Bayer confirmed to Bloomberg.
Bayer is acquiring 70% of the four-year-old company in a transaction that values Care/of at $225 million and gives Bayer the option to buy the rest by 2022, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Bayer spokesman Dan Childs told Bloomberg it is an “important milestone” for both companies, but declined to disclose the financials.
Bayer believes Care/of’s business model and product can be expanded to traditional retail channels as the company hopes to reach new customers, Childs said.
Bayer and Care/of plan to grow across new channels and new categories, though right now Care/of is direct-to-consumer.
The subscription-based company was valued at $156 million in 2018 after raising funds from investors including Goldman Sachs’ venture capital unit.
Craig Elbert and Akash Shah cofounded Care/of in 2016; Care/of and Bayer did not immediately respond to Forbes request to comment.
Care/of, HUM Nutrition, Ritual and other millennial-favored vitamin companies have worked with influencers and grown their own large social media followings. (A key color on Care/of’s Instagram page is “millennial pink.”)
$18.3 billion. Online vitamin and supplement sales in the U.S. increased by 15% in 2020 to that amount, according to data from the market research firm IBISWorld.
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I’m a reporter at Forbes and the author of What Next?: Your Five-Year Plan for Life After College published by the Simon & Schuster imprint Adams Media. I have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.