Cameron Diaz Lends Celebrity Shine to Modern Acupuncture
Cameron Diaz was one of Charlie’s Angels as this movie publicity poster from Netflix shows, and now she’s also an investor in Modern Acupuncture.
The man who arranged 50 Cent’s equity investment in Vitamin Water and Madonna’s deal with Vita Coco, Seth Rodsky and his firm Strand Equity, have bought a stake in Modern Acupuncture and brought actress Cameron Diaz into the deal, too.
It is Strand Equity’s first investment in the franchise space, said Rodsky, who also co-founded lifestyle brand Draper James and production company Hello Sunshine with Reese Witherspoon.
“We reached out to Modern Acupuncture in late 2018 after identifying acupuncture as a healthcare and wellness service which we thought to be a large white space,” Rodsky said in an interview. “I’m a user of acupuncture and a lot of my friends are as well, and we started scratching our head” about the “fact that there wasn’t a distinctive brand and a scale player. When we stumbled across Modern Acupuncture we started talking.”
The three-year-old franchise based in Scottsdale, Arizona, featured on the cover of Franchise Times in August 2018, is “sort of democratizing the access to the medicine, and we partnered with them, and lucky us,” Rodsky said.
Diaz will play whatever role she wishes in the company, he said. “”She’s an investor like the rest of us,” said Rodsky, who knew her through mutual friends. “Cameron Diaz is an acupuncture enthusiast” who will “round out” the investor base. “It amplifies it to an entire different ecosystem,” to have a celebrity on board. Rodsky believes in going beyond the typical celebrity endorsement to actually get the stars to become investors in brands.
Matt Hale, CEO of Modern Acupuncture, laughed when I suggested on the eve of today’s announcement he had “gone Hollywood on us.” Said Hale: “We’re doing everything we can to drive utilization and the acceptance of acupuncture across the country.”
After the Franchise Times cover story, he said, “we had a ton of private equity groups reaching out just to understand what we were doing.” He retained a consulting group in the Scottsdale area to help him sort out the options, and that led to Strand Equity.
Strand’s differentiator? “It’s their ability to access relationships and things they’ve done in the past. They’ve tied that influencer-slash-celebrity into the deal.”
Modern Acupuncture has 60 units open and expects to double that number with openings next year. About 180 licenses are sold, Hale sai