BWX Tomorrow is an initiative committed to investing in the future growth of BWX and its brands, accelerating the global natural beauty movement and forming better connections with consumers through innovation. As BWX’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Allison Smith heads up the team. She tells us what they’re working on.
What is BWX Tomorrow and what is its purpose?
Literally speaking, BWX Tomorrow is our incubator model that pursues investments in early-stage businesses and startups in either skincare or adjacent categories in the natural segment. Our intention is to partner with the owners and founders of these businesses, not only providing working capital for growth but adding value through BWX’s existing business.
Our intention is to bring best-in-class skills to these small but unique businesses to explode profitable growth. Tapping into our global distribution network, enhancing manufacturing margins or providing thought leadership in their marketing plans are just some of the skills we will bring to the table.
We will also learn from their innovation platforms and deploy learnings across our existing business, whether it is an ingredient-led opportunity, technological breakthrough or strategies for connecting with the customer in an exciting new way.
Importantly, while adding value, we will not add the bureaucracy that large corporates bring, meaning the ‘secret sauce’ that makes these businesses unique will stay that way.
Is there a specific criteria for BWX to invest?
While not ruling out large full-scale acquisitions, BWX Tomorrow is definitively an incubator. This means that our preference is to become a shareholder with an ownership stake of between 20% and 49%, allowing the owners/founders to keep driving decision-making with our support.
Our intention is to stay true to the core value of BWX – driving a natural wellness revolution – and the target company must fit within this ethos. Obviously, our core business today is centred around skin, beauty and lifestyle; however, adjacencies are a natural expansion of that core. Natural ingestibles fit very well with this philosophy, as one example.
Another example is if we look at cosmetics – an industry buoyed by social media, self-expression and the selfie generation – and imagine a product developer with a smartphone app offering ‘virtual testing’ for make-up or skincare products.
This is more plausible in an increasingly hygiene-conscious environment where physical testers are being removed from the in-store experience.
Why should a business in the early stages of its life cycle consider a company like BWX over more traditional lenders to partner with?
BWX is uniquely placed as a fully integrated developer, manufacturer, innovator, marketer and distributor of products and experiences. Our house of leading natural brands means that BWX is exposed to many categories (skin, hair, body, cosmetics and lifestyle) and deeply connected with consumers all over the world.
There is significant potential upside for the right brands to join our growing stable and lead the natural wellness revolution, whether they value our global distribution opportunity, manufacturing capability or our superior marketing capability.
What differentiates our offering from a traditional financier is that we will only invest where we know we can add value. This is a partnership that goes well beyond the provision of working capital, which traditional lenders bring to the table.
We treasure innovation and love to support founder-led entrepreneurship. We are also a values-based business and, most importantly, a lot of fun to work with!
Do you think the current market environment has helped to unearth more opportunities for investments like this?
COVID-19 continues to disrupt many aspects of the world in which we live and is forcing companies to re-evaluate their business models, adapt and innovate at great speed.
It has everyone reassessing their environmental impact as well as increasing the trend of a focus on wellness and lifestyle. This is smack in the sweet spot for a lot of our investment targets.
Connecting to the environment, considering the provenance of ingredients, having time to consider what we are putting on our bodies, what we are ingesting and what we use around us to reduce the toxins in our homes are the positive outcomes of this otherwise devastating global pandemic. Our targets play to this and will benefit from this accelerated consumer trend.
Tell us about BWX Tomorrow’s maiden investment.
We are excited to have partnered with Vitable – a personalised subscription-based vitamin company. You can take a short quiz on their website (vitable.com.au) and get a supplement recommendation tailored to your individual health goals, lifestyle and diet.
All their products are manufactured in Australia, highly efficacious and safely home-delivered. They have already helped more than 10,000 Aussies to support their health with personalised daily packs. Personalisation continues to be an accelerating consumer trend, and we are so excited to partner with this great business.
How can a founder reading this find out more?
We would love to hear from potential partners who can find further information at our website: bwxltd.com.
Proudly supported by: