How I Built This… with help from Private Equity Investment (Part 3)

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 and Part 2 shared stories of building growth and providing expertise. Today, we hear about how private equity firms mentor and support management.

Carol’s Daughter (32:20 – 34:18 mins)
Hair, skincare, and beauty brand, headquartered in New York, New York

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • I know in 2014 you sold the company to L’Oréal. Was that difficult for you to sell this thing that you build out of your apartment in Brooklyn? Or did it feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders?

Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter:

  • I felt strong. I felt empowered. And I stood with everyone else shoulder to shoulder and guided Carol’s Daughter to that place for us to have that acquisition. So, I was very very happy.”      

Aden + Anais (32:10 – 33:02 mins)
Baby essentials retailer, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • “Around 2013 you guys got a big investment, right?”

Raegan Moya-Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of Aden + Anais:

  • “That’s correct. Swander Pace Capital entered in and they became the majority shareholdersin Aden + Anais now. However, I still remain the single largest individual shareholder in the company.”

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • “So, explain how this works. They bought a big share of the company but that allowed you to cash out some of the value of the company?”

Raegan Moya-Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of Aden + Anais:

  • “That’s correct, they bought the whole company. What I did was bought in as a major shareholder in the company.”

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • And you’re still the CEO?”

Raegan Moya-Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of Aden + Anais:

  • I am.”

Five Guys (26:31 – 26:51 mins)
Chain of fast casual burger restaurants, headquartered in Lorton, Virginia

NPR Host Guy Raz:

  • “Is your family still the primary owner of your company?”

Jerry Murrell, Founder and CEO of Five Guys

  • “Yes, we own about 75 percent of the company – me and my family. But we took in a fairly big investor when we first started franchising. They don’t interfere in our business at all – they gave us a big chunk of money. They’re entrepreneurs too and they saw something in Five Guys.”

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
  • Clif Bar
  • Vice Media
  • Honest Tea
  • TOMS Shoes
  • Chipotle
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams