Going Gaga for HAUS LABS

Nicole Quinn
Jul 11 · 4 min read

Announcing our investment in Lady Gaga’s beauty startup — HAUS LABORATORIES

June 2019 board meeting with Lady Gaga describing her vision to CEO Ben Jones, CAA’s Michael Yanover, myself and company execs

It was over a year ago when Gaga first told us about her startup idea. Her agent had explained her love affair with beauty and the ways in which she wanted to start her own company and flip beauty on its head. CAA and I were brainstorming around this at a cafe in Los Angeles when I heard “surprise” and turned to see Gaga throw her hands up in the air in a theatrical star-shaped pose. Despite having never met before, she came straight over, looked me deep in the eye and then gave a genuine, warm hug that instantly conveyed her intensity and strength. The conversation went into her three passions in this world — music, acting, and beauty.

She told us how she discovered the power of makeup through watching her mother and how she’d sit in her dressing room for hours mixing up beauty products to create her own. She wanted to create products that were high-quality and pigment-forward. She was looking for products with versatility and high-impact. This is exactly what the team at HAUS LABORATORIES have done, so you can now color inside or outside of the lines.

Flipping the script on beauty

Many beauty brands are about fitting in. HAUS is about standing out. It challenges the status quo, with lip products that can be worn on your cheeks and eye products that can be worn on your lips. The Glam Attack — all-over liquid shimmer powder that can be worn anywhere — is a personal favorite.

HAUS’s ingredients are of high quality, yet prices are fair. After all, Gaga would never dream of making her Little Monsters pay $30 for lip gloss. For her generation, which cares so deeply about what a brand stands for, the HAUS message of inclusivity, empowerment, glamour, experimentation and creativity truly resonates and is authentic to who she is.

As she’s done with music and acting, Gaga has flipped the rulebook for beauty on its head. As chairwoman of the company, she’s made all the key decisions — from the color palette and the brand video to the company values and the hiring of executives.

CEO Ben Jones is someone we know well from the Honest Company, with experience in both beauty and gaming. He has sound judgement, terrific management skills and has hired a best in class beauty team. Ben focuses on the intersection of beauty and tech in such a way he has made it a core part of the HAUS DNA. The executive team brings decades of beauty experience from brands such as Benefit, Sephora and Estee Lauder.

HAUS LABORATORIES has partnered with Amazon as their exclusive global retailer and they will launch on global Prime Day — July 15th. It was crucial for Gaga, Ben and the HAUS team that they were able to offer products to a global audience from day one. HAUS allows people to experiment, express themselves, be creative, and share in the community.

More than skin deep

When we invest in a space, we dive deep. This is how we add value to our portfolio companies with the insights we can offer, the executives we help hire, and the potential partners we introduce. So when we focused on the beauty space, we spoke at many conferences, met hundreds of startups, and talked to countless executives. We look for founders who have unique insights into their world and a desire to drive change. Gaga has exactly that. She’s a true artist who puts her all into everything she does, whether that’s singing, acting, or beauty. She pulled many all-nighters working to develop unique cosmetics that reflect her personal values.

At Lightspeed we believe in community — and Gaga’s Little Monsters is one of the most unique, enduring, and loyal communities in the world. We believe in supporting female founders; 40 percent of the consumer businesses in our portfolio were started by women. We are pleased to welcome HAUS into our community. We believe the best companies disrupt and expand an industry. Gaga pushes the outer limits on everything she touches. Today, she re-writes the book on beauty.

We are proud to support HAUS’s tremendous vision. Pre-order at HausLabs.com.

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed is a VC firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the enterprise and consumer sectors. Lightspeed has backed 350+ companies globally in the past two decades including Snap, Honest Co., GIPHY, Nest, Nutanix, AppDynamics and MuleSoft.

Nicole Quinn

Written by

Investor at Lightspeed, Stanford alum, Former Consumer Analyst at Morgan Stanley and British 100m sprinter

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed is a VC firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the enterprise and consumer sectors. Lightspeed has backed 350+ companies globally in the past two decades including Snap, Honest Co., GIPHY, Nest, Nutanix, AppDynamics and MuleSoft.