Silas Capital Closes $150 Million in Fund for Start-ups

Consumers and investors alike love a good start-up story and the emerging growth equity and venture capital firm Silas Capital is no exception — having revealed that its newest consumer growth fund, Silas Capital Partners II, has reached a hard cap of $150 million of commitments.

The company said it has been bolstered by prominent institutional investors including endowments, fund-of-funds, insurance companies, global asset managers, family offices and multinational CPG companies. With Fund II, Silas Capital will continue to focus on investments ranging from $3 million to more than $15 million in high-growth, and on what it described as “typically profitable,” consumer brands with revenue of $5 million to more than $50 million. Silas Capital defines its “emerging growth” strategy as between venture capital and private equity.

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The new investors and limited partners were not immediately revealed Tuesday.

This new fund invests in a broad assortment of consumer brands including its specialty of personal care and beauty, as well as apparel, fashion, better home goods, health, wellness, food and a range of better CPG brands. As this fund was being raised, four investments were made in Makeup by Mario, Vacation Sunscreen, the sexual wellness company Hello Cake and Wonder Belly, a Silas Capital spokesperson said Tuesday. The prior portfolio invested in such companies as Bellroy, Proenza Schouler, Hatch and Boll & Branch.

In addition, Silas, which was started in 2012 by a team with e-commerce, wholesale and retail experience, aims to invest up to 10 percent of its capital into seed and early-stage brands with smaller passive checks under $500,000 through Silas Ventures, the firm’s early-stage venture platform comprised of two micro funds, Silas Ventures I & II.

In recent years the start-up rate in the U.S. has climbed to its highest level since the Great Recession, due partially to the pandemic and closures generated by an uneven economy.

In 2021 the business start-up rate, which tracks the share of all firms that are formed each year, increased 8.9 percent in 2021 — the highest share since the Great Recession. In total, more than 476,000 new start-ups were formed — nearly a 5 percent increase compared to pre-COVID-19 data, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics. Those figures signaled some optimism that the number of start-ups is expected to continue to grow at higher rates than before the pandemic, in light of the sustained, elevated level of applications that has continued through 2023, according to a report by the Economic Innovation Group. Unlike in the 2010s, when start-up rates dwindled, the 2021 report was considered to be “concrete proof that American entrepreneurship is quite likely on a new path away from the doldrums of the 2010s,” the report said.

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