Awkward Essentials, a personal hygiene company with the first after-sex clean up product of its kind, the dripstick, announced the close of a $2.3 million seed round by capital partner Unorthodox Ventures today. As a single-product company, Awkward Essentials will use the investment for innovation, scaling up production, and overall go-to market strategy.
“I founded Awkward Essentials to solve a personal need, and it sparked social dialogue that felt traditionally taboo,” says Founder & CEO Frances Tang. “As an Asian-American, female founder, it can be challenging to invent in a space that takes the (awkward) bedroom topics into the boardroom. Women-founded startups receive only about 3% of investments and that number decreases for minority women. We are so fortunate to continue our growth with a group like Unorthodox Ventures, who not only supports greater representation in the sex-tech and health spaces but also works to destigmatize these taboo topics.”
Awkward Essentials launched in 2019 with its first product, the dripstick – the first after-sex product of its kind made with a super soft, medical-grade sponge that quickly soaks up all the excess fluids. Over the last year, the brand has gone viral on social media, secured hundreds of five-star reviews, been mentioned in top-tier media and was recently crowned a Digiday 2021 Future Leader Awards finalist.
“It’s exceedingly rare to find a real inventor these days, so that makes what Frances has done even more astounding,” said Unorthodox Ventures Founding Contrarian Carey Smith. “She’s identified a real problem, and one that’s extremely personal for many at that, and developed a practical product to solve it. She also put herself and her own experience in front of the world, and that takes the kind of courage that only real entrepreneurs show.”
This investment completes a round started in recent months, as Unorthodox Ventures’ team of business experts worked hand-in-hand with Awkward Essentials to help the startup rapidly grow. Unorthodox Ventures sets itself apart in the crowded investment space with its operating model that combines investment, expertise and support services.