Role: 1126

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Investing Non-Executive Director (Non-Exec) is required for our client in the organic luxury skincare and cosmetics ingredients sector, based in London.

KAIKU produces 100% natural, organic cosmetic colorants, coloured cosmetics, and botanical ingredients that are derived from agricultural plant waste. The colorants are plant-based and use a circular economy system (from farm waste to lab, and back to farm field for the remaining biomass).  It represents a sustainable and scalable solution that is less energy intensive than traditional manufacturing methods.

The company is looking to strengthen their Board with the appointment of three Non-Executive Directors with start-up / high growth experience to contribute to the development of the company.

The Non-Executive Directors will be encouraged to become shareholders in the Company to align the incoming Non-Exec’s interest with that of the Founder.

Business Concept:

Our client was formed in 2019 at Imperial College London with the aim of providing an ecological vision for cosmetics, textiles & packing that many consumers hope for.

  • The majority of colorants used in cosmetics are either synthetically derived from petrochemicals or sourced from countries with questionable labour practices.
  • Additionally, consumers are increasingly worried about potential negative health effects from synthetic colorants and desire more natural substitutes.


Market & Opportunity:

  • KAIKU will occupy a unique market position as both a cosmetic brand and an ingredients manufacturer working primarily with waste-derived feedstocks.
  • Research suggests that Millennial and Gen X consumers are longing for clean, bio-based skincare (Mintel, 2020), and the UK market alone represents a £1.6Bn opportunity by 2023 (Ethical Consumer, 2020).
  • There are additional markets beyond cosmetics, such as textiles, that provide further growth opportunities for KAIKU.

 Client Proposition: 

Our client has applied for an Innovate UK grant of £190,000. We are seeking an additional £82,000 in match funding for this grant from investing Non-Executive Directors. The results of this award will be announced in late March, with the 12-month research project set to start after April 2021. The grant and matched funding will be used for the development of the product, the infrastructure and the launch of the pilot. The duration of this phase will be 12 months. We have solid enquiries from several existing Cosmetics brands for use of our organic colourants, details of which can be shared during the interview process.

Non-Exec Director Role/Requirements/Expertise:

  • CTO with experience of Biotechnology and health sector.
  • Experience as a statutory Director, preferably of a growth company (plc not necessary).
  • Suggested initial investment of £30k minimum.
  • Sufficient time to prepare well and attend Board and Strategy meetings.
  • It is expected that the role will require approximately 2 days per month – more in the early stages.
  • The Non-Exec will become a shareholder in the Company, aligning their interests with that of the Founder. The company is registered for the SEIS scheme which provides 50% tax relief and up to 100% capital gains relief subject to status.


Closing Date: Tuesday, 6th April 2021

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