Supplement brand Hilma recently announced that it will sell its majority stake to the French pharmaceutical company Biocodex Group.
Hilma's journey began in 2020 as an over-the-counter supplement company focused on homeopathic digestive aids. Its success with certified vegan, non-genetically modified organisms (non-GMOs), and gluten-free products has been shocking to some; in 2022, they grew 100% year-over-year (YOY), and the startup has raised more than $7 million in venture capital.
Co-Founders Hilary Quartner, Lily Galef, and Nina Mullen explained to Modern Retail Magazine how they now operate as an omnichannel brand with direct-to-consumer (DTC) and wholesale outlets. Their DTC presence was first, as their first launch included a website with direct sales.
At the moment, 25% of the company’s revenue comes from retailers and corporate partnerships. In 2021, it began selling with Amazon and Target. And with Biocodex's guidance, in the first half of 2023, Hilma plans to expand product sales to the United States and expand into big box stores and pharmacy chains. Hilma will continue to operate independently, as many of Biocodex's other brands do.
Quartner told Modern Retail that the Biocodex deal was a bit of a surprise, as many DTC companies take five or ten years to go public or sell after their initial launch. But when Biocodex reached out through another investor, it seemed like the perfect fit. Biocodex is a great partner for Hilma, the founders say, as they have extensive experience in the digestive aid space.
Biocodex currently manufactures and provides resources for Florastor Probiotics, another digestive aid brand that is distributed to giants like Walmart and Walgreens.
"Being in the over-the-counter category requires extensive resources for product development and new retail reach," Quartner told Modern Retail. "Being under the Biocodex umbrella will give us access to a wealth of research, which can be very expensive for us to do on our own."
In return, Galef tells Modern Retail that Hilma is looking forward to helping Biocodex with an upgraded digital presence in America through DTC marketing and digital strategies.