Dollar Shave Club Lands $12 Million Investment to Dramatically Expand Product Portfolio
Dollar Shave Club was once all about the razors.
But if CEO Michael Dubin has his way, his commerce company will expand its product portfolio by the end of next year from the three it offers today — razors, shaving cream and moist wipes for your bottom — to more than a dozen different men’s grooming products.
To fuel that expansion, Dollar Shave Club has raised $12 million in a Series B investment round. It previously raised $9.8 million in a Series A round a little less than a year ago, and $1 million in a seed round.
Venrock is once again investing in this round. Other participating firms include Comcast Ventures, New World Ventures and Battery Ventures, Dubin said in an interview.
Dubin declined to provide details about the specific products in his company’s pipeline. But he said the plan is to start selling seven to 12 new items next year. It seems likely that the company will add some products with higher price points, though Dubin said the company plans to keep prices under $20 for the most part. Either way, that’s a lot of R&D focused on men’s grooming.
“Well,” he said, “there’s a lot to get done in the bathroom.”
Dollar Shave Club currently has about 330,000 subscribers who purchase one of three types of razors on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, according to Dubin. He said at least 10 percent of subscribers add either shave butter or butt wipes to their razor orders.
The startup’s popular marketing videos were a big reason for its early success. But Dubin has aspirations for his 32-person company to be more than an e-commerce brand; he wants it to represent a lifestyle that a certain type of man wants to emulate.
For that transformation to occur, the founder believes that Dollar Shave Club needs to create its own content — not for strictly advertising purposes, but to inform and entertain. He said it’s too early to tell whether the content will live under the Dollar Shave Club brand or a new brand name.
“A year from now, our goal is to have people look at Dollar Shave Club as a men’s lifestyle brand,” he said.
And Dubin will be using a chunk of the new cash to hire a team to bring that brand to life through the written word and, because of its history, you’d have to imagine video, as well.