maude, a modern and inclusive sexual wellness company taking on the legacy industry, has announced the close of an oversubscribed $5.8M Series A. 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. The raise was led by True Beauty Ventures, a beauty and wellness-focused fund that grows early-stage brands in the beauty and wellness space, and includes notable participation from Fable Investments the parent company of Aesop and The Body Shop, UK consumer fund True, and media company Endeavor.
“maude is a category leader with a clear mission to democratize and destigmatize an antiquated view of sex while reframing intimacy as self-care,” says 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 round of investors joins existing funds RRE, CASSIUS, Tune House Capital, Outbound Ventures, Vice Ventures, and Patina Brands, and angels including Benjamin Millepied, Steven Alan, and Cédric Aumonier. Advisors include Anna Sedgley, former CFO, Dow Jones; Gene Han, former Vice President of New Ventures, Target; Jennifer Conti, MD, OB/Gyn Stanford University School of Medicine and co-author, The Vagina Book, and Donald Wilson, Ph.D., NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and co-author, Learning to Smell.
maude launched in April of 2018 and was founded by Éva Goicochea after successful careers in healthcare legislation and brand strategy (early employee at Everlane). As a part of this 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.
“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,” says Goicochea.
Uniquely positioned, maude’s approach to sexual health centers 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 further its commitment to making sexual wellness synonymous with self-care.
“Fable Investments is delighted to announce its second investment into the trailblazing intimacy brand maude,” says Thomas Buisson, Director of Fable Investments. “Non-explicit, beautiful, intelligent, and bold, Eva’s approach has allowed her to create a safe space for thoughtful interactions on how intimacy can actually be a pathway to global wellness. Under her inspiring and truly remarkable leadership, maude has not only grown into a very successful business, but it also carries all the hallmarks of becoming a global leader in the industry. We look forward to our partnership with maude on this journey that is in equal measures exciting, important, and long overdue.”
“Sexual wellness has long been the last frontier in personal care, but the customer expects better, ” Goicochea says. “Like in beauty, we believe in taking an integrated and holistic approach—not a compartmentalized view of sex. At our core, we’re an evergreen brand thoughtfully built for the every day of your entire adult life.”
This funding round will be used to further position maude as a leader both within the sexual wellness and personal care industries growing their team as well as its product line and content platform. This raise follows a successful year for the early-stage company, who experienced 50% growth QoQ, 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. The category-defining brand grew its portfolio of luxury retailers in the first half of 2021 launching in Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Saks.com with upcoming launches at Canadian retailer SSENSE.
“Following our seed investment at the end of last year we’ve been blown away by Éva and the team and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to support a business that continues to outperform, and embodies everything we look for in the brands we support; one that has a great founding team, that is digital-first, fit-for-the-future and operating at the heart of attitudinal and consumer behavior shift,” says Claire Cherry, Investment Principal at True.”We are looking forward to supporting maude through introductions we can make across our retail and consumer network as it launches its exciting roll-out into the UK and Europe.”
On the future, Goicochea said: “Through and through, we’re people-first and our success is just as much about resonating with our customer as it is about creating a healthy internal culture driven by our shared values and vision for what’s ahead. Our mission is to continue to build strong brand affinity and a solvent business – we’ll be profitable in 2022 – that changes the culture of sexual wellness—forever.”