Development Capital invests €12m in Spotlight Oral Care

07 July 2021

Development Capital has announced a €12 million investment in Spotlight Oral Care Limited, a premium oral care brand and one of Ireland’s fastest-growing companies. The €12m investment, which is the maximum and largest investment by Development Capital to date, will enable Spotlight Oral Care to further drive its international expansion into Europe (primarily Ireland, the UK, and Scandinavia) and the United States.

Spotlight Oral Care was founded in 2016 by three dentists, Dr. Vanessa Creaven, Dr. Lisa Creaven, and Dr. Barry Buckley. Combining their experience and understanding of patient concerns as dentists, with a research-led approach to New Product Development (NPD), the company’s aim is to bridge the gap between oral care and oral beauty, while offering a personalised and sustainable alternative to generic oral care.

To achieve this, Spotlight Oral Care develops, markets, and sells a comprehensive range of products for specific consumer oral care needs both online and through blue-chip retailers in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Spotlight Oral Care currently has 17 products in its range, all of which are clinically formulated and tailored to target specific oral health needs using clean, active ingredients. All products have been created by the brand’s co-founders, utilising their clinical expertise.  Toxin-free formulations and eco-friendly packaging are other key differentiators relative to market competitors.

Spotlight Oral Care has experienced significant demand and growth over the past 18 months, with turnover trebling to €19 million in the last financial year. Both the product range and distribution channels have expanded significantly, with high profile US retailers including Ulta Beauty, CVS and Target. Currently, Spotlight Oral Care boasts a large presence in Ireland across pharmacy partners and retailers including Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Arnotts and Brown Thomas, while premium stockists in the UK include Cult Beauty, Boots and Look Fantastic. The company also hosts direct-to-consumer sales via their dedicated region-based websites.

The €12m investment by Development Capital will help to continue the company’s international expansion throughout Europe, the UK and the US, with turnover of €19 million projected to treble in the next 3 years. While Spotlight Oral Care already has 52 highly skilled employees in Ireland, the UK and the US, this new investment will help attract and secure new talent for the company’s growing international senior management team, as well as support NPD, product innovation, and will help grow both the online and retail channels.

The significant €12 million investment is being made by Development Capital Fund II, a €75 million fund managed by Development Capital.  The successor fund to the BDO Development Capital Fund, Development Capital Fund II is supported by the European Investment Fund (EIF), the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), and Bank of Ireland. Development Capital provides development and growth capital for established, mid-sized, and profitable companies to assist them in accelerating and achieving their export-led growth plans.

As part of the investment, Spotlight Oral Care Limited welcomes Andrew Bourg, Co-Founding Partner of Development Capital, to its Board of Directors. Announcing the first investment made by Development Capital Fund II, Andrew Bourg said: 

“We are delighted to announce Spotlight Oral Care as our first investment from our second Development Capital fund.  Spotlight Oral Care is precisely the type of company that Development Capital II was set up to support, being a high-growth company with an experienced and ambitious management team and a strong track record. We are delighted to partner with Vanessa, Lisa, Barry, and the wider Spotlight Oral Care management team. We look forward to supporting and assisting their ambitious plans to further scale and internationalise the business.”

Dr. Vanessa Creaven, Spotlight Oral Care Co-Founder and CEO said:

“This investment by Development Capital is a pinnacle moment for us in the business as we have experienced rapid business growth in the last 12-18 months. The financial support and expertise that comes with this investment will allow Spotlight Oral Care to expand further and continue to help us revolutionise oral care. We are thrilled to be working with a team that supports SMEs like us and look forward to having Andrew on our Board of Directors.”

Development Capital’s investment model is based on backing SME management teams by providing them with both the funding and experience to unlock and accelerate their growth potential.

To date, the BDO Development Capital Fund has successfully exited from five of its nine investees - Version 1, Lifes2Good, Netwatch, Blueface, and Perigord. The continuing BDO Development Capital Fund investees are ATA Group, Ina’s Kitchen Desserts Limited t/a Broderick’s, Multihog, and Obelisk.