With $30M in Financing, Living Proof Primps for More Good Hair Days

2/21/13Follow @bvbigelow

Cambridge, MA-based Living Proof says today it has raised $30 million to expand its line of hair care products, and to support the development and commercialization of additional beauty products. In today’s statement, the company says it also has begun its first national marketing campaign with actress Jennifer Aniston and her world famous hair.

Living Proof says new institutional investors supported the financing, including Leerink Swann—a healthcare-focused investment banking firm based in Boston. The Pohlad Family Capital Fund, created in 2010 by the family of the late Minnesota businessman (and Minnesota Twins owner) Carl R. Pohlad, also participated in the financing. They joined existing investor Polaris Venture Partners of Waltham, MA.

The company previously raised at least $23 million since 2004, when it was founded by Jon Flint and Amir Nashat of Polaris, with scientific help from the renowned MIT biochemist Robert Langer. Earlier this month, President Obama awarded Langer the 2013 Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The Wall Street Journal made a big to-do over a visit that Aniston made to the company’s Cambridge headquarters in October, when the star of “Horrible Bosses,” “The Break-Up,” and other films was named as the hair care brand’s celebrity spokesperson. Living Proof also identified Aniston as a “co-owner” of the company itself. (Living Proof executives declined to quantify the extent of Aniston’s equity stake, but told the newspaper it was meaningful.)

As the Journal noted at the time, Living Proof initially thought its scientific ties to MIT would provide enough instant credibility for the company’s hair care products to sell themselves. But in the multi-billion dollar market for women’s beauty products, MIT’s brand awareness proved to be only skin deep. So the company turned to a Hollywood heavyweight to provide the right cachet.

The company says its Aniston campaign is intended to promote the power of Living Proof science—and by extension, to make every day a good hair day.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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