Dollar Shave Club, whose co-founder/CEO is from Lower Merion and a fantastic actor, has now raised total of $73 million
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Dollar Shave Club, the monthly razor (and related products) delivery subscription service for men based in Los Angeles, said in late September it had exceeded 1 million members, and that it would triple its revenue to at least $60 million this year, the LA Business Journal reported. It also received another $50 million in venture funding, bringing the company's total amount raised to about $73 million.
Dollar Shave Club's co-founder and CEO is Michael Dubin, 35, who grew up in Lower Merion. He attended Emory and worked in New York before heading west. Dollar Shave Club, founded in 2012, was launched out of Santa Monica's Science incubator.
It is interesting to see some of the established, big money firms line up behind Dollar Shave Club, such as Venrock, Battery Ventures, TCV, and even Comcast Ventures. They must see something very disruptive going on. But there is serious competition among startups. One is Harry's, founded by Warby Parker co-founder Jeffrey Raider. It has already raised well over $100 million and bought a razor factory in Germany.
I checked to see if First Round Capital had invested early in either of these startups, but as far as I can tell it hasn't. I thought it might have been Josh Kopelman's type of business, as he loves subscription services that need to be refilled once month, and game- changing strategies that turn industries upside down in terms of convenience and price. Also, he had the connection to Raider from Warby Parker, and Dubin, with his flair for promotion, might be his kind of entrepreneur. But my biggest concern in investing big money in this business would be the (lack of) barriers to entry, or that Gilette or the smaller established brands would eventually put their feet down to crush them by establishing an off-brand product and selling it direct. I think of CDNow (though not a perfect analogy).
Update: Gillette has come out with a subscription productintended to compete with Dollar Shave Club. In fact it advertised it during the World Series.
Anyway, it will be interesting to watch.
Here is the fantastic viral video with which the company launched in 2012. "Mike" is actually CEO Mike Dubin, who spent time as an improv actor.
Update: Your beard is killing the shaving industry Washington Post)