How I Built This… with help from Private Equity Investment (Part 2)

National Public Radio’s (NPR) popular How I Built This podcast series highlights nearly a hundred entrepreneurs and business owners who have transformed an innovative idea into a successful business. Throughout this podcast series, many of the innovators and entrepreneurs talk with host Guy Raz about how private equity investment helped them grow their businesses, hire new employees, and get the management support they need in order to succeed. In fact, about a quarter of the companies featured on the show have partnered with private equity along their path to success.

In our new three-part blog series, the AIC is highlighting specific quotes from entrepreneurs who have turned to private equity investment to help build their businesses. Part 1 shared stories of building growth. Today, we hear about how private equity firms provide expertise to companies.

Edible Arrangements (35:57 – 36:58 mins)
Fresh fruit arrangements and gifts, headquartered in East Haven, Connecticut

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • So, OK, so you – you’re building this company. It’s growing really fast. And then I guess at a certain point, you did actually take some private equity money – right? – in about 2012.”

Tariq Farid, Founder of Edible Arrangements:

  • 2012, yes.”

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • And what – why? Why did you decide to accept that money when you guys were doing great without it?

Tariq Farid, Founder of Edible Arrangements:

  • You know, I come from a simple background. And, you know, I didn’t know anything about business…You know, you’ve worked very hard to build this company. You want it to grow. You don’t want to make a mistake. And so that was the thing. It was more for what I didn’t know.”

Melissa & Doug (31:05-31:28 mins)
Children’s toy manufacturer, headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • I guess just a few years ago you decided to seek outside investors?

Doug Bernstein, Co-Founder of Melissa & Doug:

  • Correct, we kept significant ownership and we brought in some investors who now sit on our board and participate very actively with us also and helpfully.”

Melissa Bernstein, Co-Founder of Melissa & Doug:

  • Because the truth is for the first 20 years we really did this without mentorship. You know, it was finding our own way in a very dark room.

There are over 4,700 private equity firms in the United States that are currently invested in more than 32,000 American companies. Here’s a list of some of the companies that have been featured on How I Built This and have received private equity investment.

  • Lululemon Athletica
  • Chicken Salad Chick
  • Drybar
  • Kendra Scott
  • Dell
  • Urban One
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • Power Rangers
  • Bumble
  • Vice Media
  • Honest Tea
  • TOMS Shoes
  • Chipotle
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams