maude closes $5.8m in Series A funding as it carves out space for sexual wellness in the beauty industry
Modern intimacy brand maude has closed an oversubscribed $5.8m Series A funding round led by beauty and wellness investment fund True Beauty Ventures with notable participation by Fable Investments, Endeavor, and UK consumer fund True.
To date, the brand has successfully raised $10m over four rounds of funding – making it one of the most VC-backed sexual wellness personal care companies. It was founded in 2018 by Éva Goicochea, who had previously had a successful career in healthcare legislation and brand strategy (she was an early employee at ethical fashion brand Everlane).
One of only 15 Latinx women to raise over $7m in VC funding, Goicochea was chosen as one of Entrepreneur magazine's first-ever 100 Powerful Women in 2019, in addition to other accolades. Following this latest fund raise maude's board will now be entirely female and majority Latina with Cristina Nuñez (True Beauty Ventures) and Paola Felipak (Fable Investments) taking seats.
The business seeks to be modern and inclusive and is taking on a legacy industry, Goicochea said: "Before we launched, the sexual wellness industry could be defined by the ubiquity of the experience, be it on shelf or online: The confusing over-assortment and opaque quality standards, inflated pricing (particularly on devices), and the tired, gendered tropes of how to sell 'sex'.
"Through accessible design and fair pricing, we're here to set the new standard in the category. We stand out as the only company that focuses on modern intimacy—for all people."
"Sexual wellness has long been the last frontier in personal care, but the customer expects better. Like in beauty, we believe in taking an integrated and holistic approach – not a compartmentalised view of sex. At our core, we're an evergreen brand thoughtfully built for the every day of your entire adult life," Goicochea added.
maude's approach to sexual health centres on share-care – self- and partner-focused essentials that promote everyday intimacy routines for before, during, and after. In early 2021, the company released its latest device, drop – an all-body massager, along with a new scent collection. These launches, maude says, further its commitment to making sexual wellness synonymous with self-care.
"maude is a category leader with a clear mission to democratize and destigmatize an antiquated view of sex while reframing intimacy as self-care," added Cristina Nuñez, Co-Founder & General Partner at True Beauty Ventures. "Éva is a visionary, fearless founder who has innovatively bridged the gap between sex, health, and personal care through a thoughtful product offering that has redefined the meaning of modern intimacy for the consumer."
This funding round will be used to further position maude as a leader both within the sexual wellness and personal care industries – growing its team as well as its product line and content platform. This raise follows a successful year for the early-stage company, which experienced 50% growth quarter-on-quarter, had over 25,000 pre-orders for its best-selling vibe, and announced actor Dakota Johnson as a Co-Creative Director.
In addition, the raise will support the expansion of maude into international markets and in additional key retailers in 2021 and 2022. It is already available in Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and at saks.com.
True Beauty Ventures is a beauty and wellness-focused fund that grows early-stage brands in the beauty and wellness space, while Fable Investments is investment fund of Natura & Co, the parent company of Aesop and The Body Shop. UK consumer fund True is a retail specialist investor and a backer of businesses such as childrenswear brand Frugi and men's make-up brand Warpaint, while Endeavour is a globally renowned media company.
This round of investors joins existing funds RRE, CASSIUS, Tune House Capital, Outbound Ventures, Vice Ventures and Patina Brands along with angels including Benjamin Millepied, Steven Alan, and Cédric Aumonier.