Stuart Landesberg’s bet on eco-friendly cleaning products really paid off during the pandemic.
COVID-19 convinced Americans to care more about hygiene, and that helped San Francisco-based Grove Collaborative, the company Landesberg co-founded and now heads as CEO, boost 2020 sales to more than $250 million. With products from major brands like Clorox selling out, the company’s subscription model played well with consumers.
By December, the startup had raised another $125 million in a Series E funding round from investors including Morgan Stanley that boosted its valuation to $1.3 billion, according to researcher PitchBook. The company, which pledged to stop selling any plastic by 2025, became a public benefit corporation last month.
And now Grove is expanding into brick-and-mortar retail for the first time with a deal to sell its products through Target stores nationwide starting this month. It will be a big test of the five-year-old brand’s appeal and could be coming ahead of an initial public offering.
Bloomberg recently spoke with the 35-year-old CEO about Grove’s push into stores, and what comes next.
You started Grove in 2016 at a time when few companies or consumers had sustainability on their radar. When was the “a ha moment” that made you realize this could be a viable business?
In 2021. For the first time in the company’s history, I can tangibly feel the pull of consumers. They’re getting to the place where they’re starting to demand the kind of…