Michael Banu
(617) 630-2437

I enjoy exploring new products and getting to know brands as they emerge, but nothing beats working with founders and executives during transformative stages of their businesses.

I joined Castanea in 2014. Prior to that, I was on the leadership team of a small children’s apparel brand called Little Miss Matched. My time spent there was both exciting and humbling, and gave me a true appreciation of what it takes to build and sustain a brand. I try to bring that perspective to the brands with whom I work.

I have focused on consumer brands at each step of my career, spending time at L Catterton, another consumer-focused private equity firm, and in the consumer investment banking group at J.P. Morgan. I’ve been fortunate to work with several amazing companies at Castanea including West Coast Fitness, Essentia Water, CURiO, and First Aid Beauty, and I’m eager to continue to find great brands.

I received an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned my undergraduate degree at Babson College, where I met my wife. I love to ski and golf (poorly), and am on the board of directors of the Decibels Foundation, a non-profit that provides support for children with hearing loss and their families. At our home in Needham, MA, you’ll often find Beatles records (yes, vinyl) filling the rare moments of silence in a house with two small children.


Essentia produces ionized alkaline water. Its proprietary process transforms water from any source into supercharged ionized alkaline water with 9.5 pH or higher.

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Thymes is a designer and marketer of unique and branded fragrances across the bath & body and home fragrance categories.

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Capri Blue is a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of branded home fragrance and bath & body products

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West Coast Fitness is a leading franchisee of Orangetheory® Fitness, a high intensity group personal training concept.

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