Purely Elizabeth, founded in 2009 by Elizabeth Stein, had emerged in 2021 as a highly authentic, successful, large platform brand, marketing a variety of better-for-you granolas, oatmeal, and baking mixes. Purely’s products incorporate innovative, nutrient-rich ingredients like ancient grains, coconut sugar, probiotics, and MCT. In addition, Purely products took “clean-label” a step further with a broad range of certified gluten-free and vegan offerings.
At the time of engagement, Purely Elizabeth was experiencing rapid growth and had become the best-selling granola brand in the natural channel and was quickly gaining traction in conventional retail. It was evident that the time was right to take the “next step” – to bring on significant capital, clean up the early cap table, maintain and further accelerate momentum, add key team members, and enter new categories.
With a well-known and endeared brand, Elizabeth had been chased by the “big name” investment banks for years. However, Elizabeth had met Mike Burgmaier at a seminar on financing and strategy in 2012, and over the years they stayed in touch, talking strategy and sharing the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship. That trusted relationship further extended to others at the Whipstitch team and led to Elizabeth selecting Whipstitch Capital as her exclusive investment advisor.
Together with the Purely Elizabeth team, Whipstitch crafted a thoughtful campaign focused on raising capital from a select group of private equity funds, that (i) Whipstitch believed would fit culturally with the business and brand; (ii) could write a $50 million initial check; and (iii) could add meaningful and thoughtful value to the company’s growth strategy. Purely Elizabeth received several term sheets at significant multiples of revenue, and was ultimately selected to partner with the team of SEMCAP and Swander Pace Capital.