Squared Circles (Freaks of Nature, Magic Molecule) Gains $40M in Funding to Launch 5 More Health & Wellness Brands

Squared Circles' founders, from left: Osman Khan, Lukas Derksen and Alexander Gilkes.
Squared Circles' founders, from left: Osman Khan, Lukas Derksen and Alexander Gilkes.

Squared Circles, the venture studio that has incubated Kelly Slater's Freaks of Nature microbiome skin care brand and hypochlorous-acid-focused skin healing brand Magic Molecule, has closed a $40 million series A funding round led by L Catterton.

Squared Circles will use the funding to "launch and scale" a minimum of five health an wellness brands over the next three years, all built around licensed bioscience IP and "supported by generative AI to speed up innovation and improve efficiency," per the company. 

Squared Circles' platform is centered around a "Conscious Maximalist" philosophy, built around a "new conscious consumer mindset shift shared by 46 million Americans." 

In essence, the venture studio aims to build and launch brands that reconcile consumers' desire to do better for the planet and their own health as well as their desire for "unique experiences, indulgences, risks, travel and unbridled hedonism."

Squared Circles' Funding & Company Background

L Catterton previously participated in Squared Circle's seed round, which Wildcat Capital Management, LLC, and Regeneration VC led.

Squared Circles was founded by Alexander Gilkes, Osman Khan and Lukas Derksen, Squared Circles also built and launched Algae Cooking Club, which "harnesses [algae] to produce a neutral cooking oil that checks all the boxes: making food tastier, being of the highest quality, and being better for the planet," per Forbes.

Algae Cooking club was co-founded by Eleven Madison's Daniel Humm.

"We're thrilled to support Squared Circles as they create some of the most forward-thinking and innovative products that leverage science and AI to meet the needs of the consumers of tomorrow," said Jon Owsley, Managing Partner of L Catterton's Growth Fund. "Their targeted approach to consumables, expert grasp of consumer mindset and behavior, and seamless fusion of science with culture fill an important gap in the market. Squared Circles is set to lead the next wave of profitable, impactful innovation that benefits both people and the planet."

"We want to work with scientists to shape a future where consumer products benefit both individuals and the planet," said Osman Khan, co-founder and CEO of Squared Circles. "We are excited to collaborate with leading consumer-focused investors such as L Catterton who not only share our long-term vision for creating transformational brands, and our dedication to ingenuity and sustainability, but also bring the extensive consumer expertise and deep operational knowledge that will help support our future endeavors."

Squared Circles' Collaboration with Surfer Kelly Slater

In early May 2024, Surfer Kelly Slater has launched a direct-to-consumer skin care brand, Freaks of Nature, in cooperation with investment and incubation firm Squared Circles company, which previously collaborated with brands such as Nutrafol and Phyla Biotics.

Additional investors in Freaks of Nature include Mike Meldman, co-founder of Casamigos tequila and founder of Discovery Land, and actor and filmmaker Jonah Hill.

The new brand is designed for "outdoor enthusiasts + athletes," per Freaks of Nature, and is focused on key concerns such as skin barrier health and targeted solutions that address sun and wind exposure, pollution and heat, and sweat, all well preserving the balance of the skin microbiome.

"My entire career I've been looking for products that are engineered for performance and built for me as a professional athlete, but that are not detrimental to my body or the planet," said Slater. "With Freaks of Nature, we've finally cracked that code, enabling athletes to go harder at their sport for longer."

The Deeper Dive Moisturizer ($48) comprises a post-biotic bacillus ferment to provide prebiotic support to the skin microbiome and brown algae extract to boost collagen and hydrate the skin.

It also highlights "bio-fabricated" squalane, which is also featured in the brand's sunscreen (see below).

The moisturizer's microbiome claims were validated with the HelloBiome platform. Its packaging, featuring an airless pump, comprises ocean-bound plastic from OceanWorks.

The Daily Defender Sunscreen ($35), meanwhile, delivers SPF30 defense with 18% non-nano zinc oxide. As such, it is reportedly reef-safe and compliant with Hawaii's reef act 104.

The formulation comprises Bolt Threads' B-silk biobased and vegan polypeptide, which acts as a reportedly superior alternative to silicone elastomers.

The polypeptide acts as a biodegradable film former to render products silky soft on the skin while providing a barrier against pollution, blue light and even UV, per Bolt Threads.

The technology helps support 40-minute water resistance for the formulation.

As with the moisturizer, the sunscreen's packaging comprises ocean-bound plastic from OceanWorks.

"The outdoor athlete is the ultimate embodiment of what we call at Squared Circles the Conscious Maximalist consumer," said Lukas Derksen, co-founder of Squared Circles. "A highly discerning audience who will refuse to compromise on product performance or sustaining the planet. Freaks of Nature clearly delivers on both."

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