Co-founders Dr. Vivien Karl & Julia Huhnholz. Image: Dr. Vivien Karl

German DTC startup Dr. Vivien Karl, is taking strides towards improving women’s intimate health care, and their efforts have now been bolstered by a successful round of pre-seed funding. The company has secured €1.5M from both existing investors and new ones. Notably, Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures) joins the funding round as the new lead investor, with Tina Müller, the former CEO of Douglas, a popular beauty retailer, coming onboard as a new angel investor.

Dr. Vivien Karl was launched by a dynamic duo: pharmacist Dr. Vivien Karl and marketer Julia Huhnholz. Together, they began their mission with a clear aim – to educate women about intimate care, enhance their well-being at different life stages, and most importantly, break the stigma around intimate health. With their first product, a moisturizing cream addressing intimate dryness, they seek to establish their brand as the leading name in intimate care products, prided for its natural and aesthetic approach.

Their flagship product, Intimate Cream 01, was launched in September 2022 and was tested by over 100 women in collaboration with a gynecological practice, with the results affirming its high effectiveness.

The pre-seed funding round involved persuasion of D2C experts like Monique Hoell (HelloBody) and Benedikt Klarmann (Junglück), along with Laurence Saunier and Marlena Hien (Bears with Benefits) from the Angel Club better ventures. Tina Müller, who also invested in the startup in January, expressed her enthusiasm about the initiative.

“DR. VIVIEN KARL is not just the first intimate care startup DvH Ventures has invested in, but also one of the first startups to tackle such a pressing social issue. We’re thrilled to partner with the founders to enhance women’s intimate well-being and de-stigmatize issues around intimate health,” said a spokesperson for DvH Ventures.

Dr. Vivien Karl and Julia Huhnholz, who initially connected over an Instagram post by Lea-Sophie Cramer, bring unique skills to the table. While Dr. Karl leverages her pharmaceutical background to focus on product development and distribution, Huhnholz, who has a successful track record in marketing at WOWTech Group, handles communications and marketing. The founding of Dr. Vivien Karl in 2021 was sparked by the need for a better solution to vulvar dryness. With a focus on natural, high-quality, and scientifically grounded products, this startup’s mission is to empower women and educate them about intimate health, thus breaking the taboo around this topic.

The €1.5M funding will be channeled towards expanding the team, enhancing their sales channels, and conducting clinical trials to further validate the effectiveness of their products. “We want Dr. Vivien Karl to become THE brand in intimate care. We are dedicated to caring for the health of women in mid-life, as the market lacks quality products for an ageing female population,” Co-founder Julia Huhnholz commented.

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