US blow dry chain Drybar closes $16m from Boston’s Castanea Partners


US blow dry chain Drybar has closed a $16m investment from Castanea Partners, the Boston-based private equity firm, for a minority stake in the company.

“This is an exciting investment opportunity for us,” said Steve Berg, partner at Castanea. “The team at Drybar has done an incredible job of capitalizing on a void in the marketplace”

As part of the transaction, Janet Gurwitch and Paul Pressler will join Drybar’s board. Gurwitch is the founder and former CEO of beauty brand Laura Mercier Cosmetics. Prior to that she was the executive vice president of Neiman Marcus, and recently joined Castanea as an operating partner.

Pressler served as president and CEO of Gap from 2002-2007 and prior to that spent 15 years with The Walt Disney Company where he was chairman of the company’s global theme park and resorts division. He also served as president of Disneyland and president of Disney Stores.

Both Gurwitch and Pressler each co-invested in Drybar, alongside Castanea. The company said it plans to use proceeds from the investment to continue their national expansion efforts and further invest in talent and infrastructure.

Karen Kelley, former senior executive at Pinkberry and Jamba Juice recently joined the company as president and COO.

Founded in 2001, Castanea is has $500m under management and targets investments of between $15m and $75m of equity capital. The firm closed its second fund, a $207m growth capital vehicle, back in 2005

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