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Former Burt's Bees exec-led investment firm raises, invests $23.2M

Jul, 31 2017, 8:22 AM

One Better Ventures, an investment firm based in Raleigh that includes former Burt’s Bees executives has invested $23.2 million in Virginia Beach, Virginia-based mattress company Leesa Sleep.

"We are humbled and invigorated by the extraordinary response Leesa has received in such a short period of time, and we are excited to use this round of funding to broaden our reach to customers and influencers alike as well as expand into the retail category," said David Wolfe, co-founder and CEO of Leesa, in a statement.

"As a company that values its impact on the world as much as its financial prosperity, we are also thrilled to be able to use this success to drive toward our audacious goal of ending homelessness."

One Better Ventures raised the money from 38 investors, according to a securities filing made on July 28.

One Better Ventures includes Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle, the former CEO of Burt’s Bees. Replogle will join Leesa as chairman of the board.

"The combination of Leesa's exceptional products, experienced management, customer service and dedication to social good is what has propelled them forward in the category," said Replogle.

"This round will help to ensure Leesa is a household name known as much for its amazing sleep products as for its social mission and goal of providing all people with a place to rest their head at night."

One Better Ventures also includes Douglas Haensel, who was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Burt’s Bees from 2004 to 2012 and the interim chief executive officer in 2011. Haensel was also the chief financial officer of athletic retail chain The Athlete’s Foot from 1999 to 2001.

He founded Haensel Capital in 2012 to provide venture capital and advisory services to companies in the early and emerging growth stage of development.

Haensel is on the board of companies such as Piedmont Candy Co. and Triangle Vibe.

Leesa plans to use the money to expand its product line.

Private companies similar to One Better Ventures, which rely on a Reg D exemption, aren’t required to register securities offerings with the SEC, but instead they must file a Form D electronically with the SEC after they sell the securities.

Note: North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism, contributed to this report.





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