Brand incubator Harry’s Labs makes acquisition of D2C deodorant brand Lumē

Harry’s Labs, the in-house incubator started by razor brand Harry’s Inc., announced Monday it agreed to acquire Lumē, the direct-to-consumer brand created to help control all-over body odor.

Harry’s created the innovation group in 2018 that has backed or launched several consumer product companies, including cat products startup Cat Person, body care line Flamingo and hair care line Headquarters.

The acquisition follows Harry’s $155 million Series E round of funding that gave the company a $1.7 billion valuation and over $650 million in total funding raised since it was founded in 2013. Harry’s itself was at one time in the position of being acquired. In May 2019, Edgewell Personal Care announced it intended to buy Harry’s, but in February 2020, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the deal from happening, citing how the deal would limit competition and innovation in the razor market.

Tehmina Haider, Harry’s chief growth officer, told TechCrunch that financial transactions were not disclosed, but that when the company thinks about a business it will acquire, it is looking for demonstrated product fit and consumer love in the market.

“The idea about M&A for Harry’s is we want to be a multi-category CPG company and build a family of CPG brands,” she said. “We want to create more and better things for consumers, and we are looking for brands aligned with that mission, are positioned in a way we can be helpful and are brands serving unmet needs.”

Prior to agreeing to acquire Lumē, Haider said Harry’s had looked at over 100 companies, and “Lumē checks every one of those boxes, which makes it exciting.”

The company was created by Dr. Shannon Klingman, a board-certified OB-GYN, in 2017 to develop a line of aluminum-free deodorants to help patients dealing with below-the-belt body odor.

Klingman told TechCrunch that unlike other products claiming to inhibit bacterial growth, Lumē is “the only brand on the market clinically tested to block the ability for bacteria to consume fluids like sweat, semen, urine, and blood that lead to odor.”

Lumē, which was bootstrapped since its founding, is part of the $3.2 billion all-purpose deodorant market, and over the next year, Harry’s Labs will work with Klingman, who is staying on with Lumē, to scale the business and accelerate D2C growth. In addition, the entire Lumē team will stay on.

“As soon as I met them, I could see we were aligned,” Klingman said. “As a self-funded brand, you can reach capacity to front-load inventory, but Harry’s has the track record to help us do that. I love that they were interested in Lumē for all of the good things and saw the value of what I am building.”

Haider expects the acquisition to close by the end of this year.