Ritual Raises $70M; Bush Steps Down At Athenahealth; Honest Co. Lands $200M

The Water Coolest

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Order-ahead lunch app, Ritual announced that it raised another $70M in a round led by Georgian Partners.

Ritual works just like many of the delivery or order-ahead options out there but allows friends or co-workers to piggyback onto your order, like some combination of Postmates, Venmo, and that intern who constantly botches coffee runs.

But the company’s breakneck growth hasn’t come without hiccups. The social aspect that separates Ritual from the pack drew scrutiny earlier this year.

Notifications that alert colleagues of a co-worker’s order and present the option to piggyback are not location based and require no pre-authorization. Therefore, one could select a workplace, like, say a government agency, and track employees movement via their lunch plans.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Listen, I love the idea of an app that makes it easier to leave the office, but if you think I’m not still going to go eat lunch at my desk alone, you’re sorely mistaken.”



Try to imagine building a healthcare document tracking and reporting company into a $6B industry leader over 21 years, only to have an activist investor steal your thunder. That’s. Gotta. Suck. Welcome to Jonathan Bush’s world.

But before you sympathize with the former President’s cousin, keep in mind that he recently admitted to abusing his wife 13 years ago. It does not appear that any charges were filed, except those in the court of public opinion.

As for the business, Jeff Immelt (yes, the one who drove GE into the ground) is taking over as Executive Chairman, and CFO Marc Levine will handle day-to-day operations.

The company is exploring options to sell and appears that there are bidders aplenty, including the activist group Elliot Management.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Two words. Scum. Bag.”



L Catterton plans to invest $200M in Honest Co., the Jessica Alba backed baby-goods and personal care manufacturer and retailer.

Honest Co. is known for creating organic, non-toxic, conflict-free diapers, cleaning products and more. But the CPG brand hasn’t always had Good Luck Chuck. There was the $1.5M class-action lawsuit, a botched sale to Unilever, and the close-but-no-cigar IPO.

L Catterton is the product of French luxury goods giant LVMH combining its PE and real estate investment arm with buyout firm Catterton. Controlling $14B in assets, the bougie brand buyer’s portfolio reads like a who’s who of brands preferred by people who use “winter” and “summer” as verbs.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “As if affluent white people weren’t insufferable enough, Honest Co. will use this investment to make gluten-free, non-dairy, lavender scented moist towelettes more readily available to these monsters.”




  • Former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs will launch XCOM, a wireless technology company that looks to focus on tackling 5G.
  • Mercedez Benz is starting a car subscription service in Nashville and Philly that will allow customers to exchange vehicles as often as they’d like … all for the low, low price range of $2,995 per month.
  • The US trade deficit has fallen for the second straight month in April. Unfortunately, the deficit is still up 11.5% from a year ago.
  • Alphabet shares dropped after a report came out that EU officials will hit them with a ‘negative result’ and potentially an $11B fine. All I’m saying is that never happened to Ask Jeeves …
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +1.40%
    • S&P 500: +0.86%
    • NASDAQ: +0.67%


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.