Jeremy Todd and Philip Butler MIT Alumni and Dragonfly Co-Founders Receive Funding from L Catterton
Founded in 2019, Dragonfly has garnered significant attention since its inception – in 2020, Dragonfly raised $29 million in new funding. Dragonfly specializes in acquiring and scaling standout e-commerce brands, priding itself on identifying unique brands that truly enrich people’s lives. Now, the company has received a proprietary investment from the Flagship Buyout Fund of L Catterton. This investment brings incremental debt and equity financing to over $500 million, which will be used primarily for future growth and mergers & acquisitions.
Dragonfly is helmed by CEO Philip Butler and CTO Jeremy Todd, who first came together at Philip Butler’s company Veya. Veya was born from Butler’s inability to find an obscure textbook while in medical school; he ended up developing a revolutionary algorithmic process that connects people and products around the globe, more quickly and affordably than ever before. Veya generates over $60 million in annual revenue, and Philip Butler, MIT graduate and Todd have taken their passion for entrepreneurship to new levels with the creation and growth of Dragonfly.
Now, Butler and Todd have developed proprietary algorithms to guide their acquisition strategy of fast-growing consumer brands. These brands are incubated, licensed, and scaled at a rapid pace, focusing on their digital presence. L Catterton’s significant investment will allow Dragonfly to acquire and grow brands at an even faster rate.
“This partnership and growth capital will inflect our rate and pace of growth by enabling us to build and acquire more scaled and impactful e-commerce brands as well as pursue world-class digital and brand talent,” said Philip Butler, MIT graduate, CEO, and co-Founder of Dragonfly. “We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with the L Catterton team, who bring a stellar track record in brand investing, global insights, and capabilities, as well as deep operational expertise in our space.”
L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, with significant experience investing in fast-growing and disruptive digital brands. L Catterton boasts 17 offices around the world and more than $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies. Founded in 1989, L Catterton has invested in about 250 consumer businesses.
Dragonfly joins L Catterton’s portfolio of Flagship Buyout Fund investments, which include: Function of Beauty, Peloton, Restoration Hardware, Birkenstock, Hanna Andersson, Boll & Branch, and Everlane. Flagship Buyout Fund investments are in middle-market growth companies, and are between $75 million and $500 million, across North America and Europe.
“Dragonfly has created a remarkable platform with multiple levers – both organic and inorganic – to drive growth within a dynamic and rapidly-expanding environment,” said Nikhil Thukral, a Managing Partner in L Catterton’s Flagship Buyout Fund. “We admire Dragonfly’s thoughtful approach to brand-building and are impressed by the people, processes, and capabilities that have been built to date. We’re thrilled to have found like-minded partners in Philip and Jeremy as we look to actualize the massive opportunity we collectively see to reimagine how to build and scale consumer brands.”
Dragonfly boasts a seamless and pain-free selling process, as well as fair prices, for standout e-commerce brands. They shy away from generics, commodities, and clone companies, instead seeking out companies that customers love and can be taken to the next level. The type of products sold is less important than the scalability of the brand. With L Catterton’s investment, Dragonfly seeks to expand its impact on brands that are making a difference in people’s lives.
Although L Catterton specializes in fashion, Butler has pinpointed significant growth opportunities in the pet, specialty, and aftermarket auto accessories, and furniture sectors. L Catterton will be able to contribute their branding refinement expertise and connections, as Dragonfly shines with its high-tech expertise in data and back-end operations.
“Such magic is combining technology and their data knowledge with brand and brand development,” Thukral said. “We can bring in marketing talent and we can bring in branding talent.”
Dragonfly’s vision continues to be to build a next-generation consumer products platform.
“We continue to believe in the power of these marketplace models,” Thukral said. “There are going to be all kinds of new businesses that are going to participate in the Amazons and Wayfairs of the world. It’s not an American phenomenon, it’s a global phenomenon.”