Eco cleaning products start-up Neat is the latest fmcg brand to receive backing from serial investor Giles Brook.
Launched at the end of 2020, the business has eliminated single-use plastics by producing plant-based cleaning concentrates in small glass containers and refillable aluminium spray bottles that consumers top up with water.
Brook has injected a six-figure sum and joins the business as lead investor and advisor ahead of an external fundraising round planned for the end of 2021.
He will also help with the strategic development of the business and brand as it grows its retail distribution.
Neat’s range of multi-surface cleaners are sold in three variants (grapefruit, seagrass and fragrance-free) and are available on the business’ DTC website, as well as in Ocado, Selfridges, Farmdrop, EcoLiving and independents. It is also in discussions with major mults over further listings.
The business, founded by Ryan McSorley and Melissa Murdoch, is set to expand its homecare offering in the second quarter of 2020 with the addition of an antibacterial multi-surface cleaner, antibacterial bathroom cleaner and an antibacterial glass and mirror cleaner. It is also planning to launch into a new household category in the second half of the year.
McSorley, who has worked for sustainable cleaning brands Method and Ecover, said Brook being involved at an early stage of the business was a “game changer”.
“We have ambitious plans to make a real impact on plastic waste with products that are a real step-change towards a more sustainable future,” he added.
“With Giles’ experience across various businesses and start-ups and his proven ability to grow brands, we couldn’t be in a better position to redefine sustainable homecare.”
Brook has increased his investment activity in the fmcg industry since handing over the reins at Vita Coco in January after 12 years in charge. He has built up his portfolio of investments over the past five years following the 2015 sale of Bear owner Urban Fresh Foods, where he was a founding partner.
Earlier this month, gut health challenger brand Bio & Me revealed Brook had joined as lead investor.
“Sustainable household cleaning has to be just that: truly sustainable,” Brook said. “Neat aspires to set a new benchmark for the category through its design-led brand, products, efficacy and incredible fragrances.
“Almost every single household cleaning product is kept shut away in a cupboard. At Neat, we want the absolute opposite, where consumers proudly celebrate our sustainable products by proactively leaving them out on display across their homes.”
McSorley added: “No longer can sustainability be a compromise. Whilst recycled plastics are a move in the right direction, they won’t solve the problem.
“We need solutions that are a radical step-change in reducing single-use plastic. At Neat, our beautiful, design-led solutions use aluminium and glass as primary material. We also avoid shipping water – which makes up 90% of a typical bottle of cleaner – halfway around the world.”