Direct sales to consumers – largely now online – has become significantly more important over the past couple of years.
No one can deny that much of the world has moved online in so many different ways, compared to even just two years ago, and with good reason.
Whilst many companies made the transition from off-to-online service for their customers, those that did best tended to be the ones that were able to respond to changes quickly.
By their very nature, many of these fast-to-pivot businesses were startups, who are usually well-positioned to respond to market changes faster than older, larger firms.
Here are 25 direct to consumer businesses that have recently caught our attention.
Birchbox is a New York-based online subscription service that offers various beauty products to its subscribers. Birchbox’s mission is to redefine the beauty retail market by creating a personalised method for consumers to discover and learn about new and superior products from a variety of brands on the market. Since being founded in 2010, Birchbox has partnered with top brands such as Kiehl’s, Benefit, Deborah Lippmann, and Stila.
Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild is an online flower delivery startup that aims to be the European market leader in flower delivery. Through Bloom & Wild, the consumer can order flowers straight to their letterbox. The startup has combined the traditional flower-giving experience with predictive analytics and technology to ensure the freshness and short journeys of the bouquets straight to your doorstep.
Brushbox is an eco-oral care startup offering a subscription box service to consumers. Brushbox is the UK’s only retailer specialising in oral care subscription boxes. It offers completely eco-friendly oral hygiene products such as bamboo toothbrushes and biodegradable floss, allowing customers to care for their oral hygiene as well as the planet.
Callaly is a period care and femtech company that is developing and manufacturing innovative new products for periods. Callaly employs gynaecologists to develop its period products, and they have invented and globally patented the Tampliner, a leak-proof and organic tampon, which negates the need for the traditional plastic applicator. Callaly’s products are sold online through a customisable subscription, made in line with British medical-grade standards.
Casper is a startup focussed on improving better sleep, which is disrupting the mattress industry with its comfortable mattress sold directly to consumers; cutting out inflated prices. Casper’s mattresses are developed in-house by a team of experienced product engineers. Casper does not only have mattresses, but additional core sleep products in its range, including the Casper pillow, sheets, foundation, bed frame, duvet, and a dog mattress.
Eve Sleep is a British startup pioneering luxury sleep solutions; specialising in high-quality mattresses. Eve’s vision is to create the perfect day for their customers, by improving their quality of sleep. Eve considers the mattress one of the most important items in your home and therefore aims to revolutionise the mattress.
2015 – London, UK
James Fryer, Jas Bagniewski, Kuba Wieczorek
Total funding: $32.3m
Flaviar is a spirits tasting club offering a subscription service that helps members discover new liquor products through monthly subscription boxes of spirits to sample. The sample packs include rare and unique liquors as well as invitations to special events, and complimentary bottles and personalised samples. Flaviar was founded in New York. Flaviar ships to the UK, EU and the US.
Function of Beauty
Function of Beauty develops and manufactures personalised hair care products tailored to the unique hair profile and goals of the individual customer. Using the Function of Beauty website, users can create shampoos, conditioners, styling products based on their individual hair type, hair goals, and aesthetic preferences such as the colour and fragrance of their hair products. Function of Beauty’s has recently added personalised skincare and body care products to its repertoire.
2015 – Greater New York Area, USA
Hien Nguyen, Joshua Maciejewski, Zahir Dossa
Total funding: $162.2m
Glossier is a direct-to-consumer beauty company that leverages content and community to power a superior shopping experience. Glossier has a range of beauty products encompassing skincare, makeup, body, and fragrance that are sold in the US, Canada, Sweden, and the UK directly from Glossier.
2010 – New York, USA
Total funding: $186.4m
Gousto is a meal subscription box service designed to offer customers variety, quality and simplicity in their home-cooking. Gousto’s boxes are customisable for how many people you will be cooking for and are designed to provide you with the right proportions to cook great tasting meals at home. Customers get to choose which recipes come in their box so they can cater to their own tastes.
2012 – London, UK
James Carter, Timo Boldt
Total funding: $211.3m
HARi&CO is a startup specialising in organic and healthy food. The startup both offers products directly to consumers and distributes products via retail networks such as the Franprix chain in Île-de-France. HARi&CO is looking to conquer the international markets of the UK and Germany with its healthy food products.
2014 – Lyon, France
Benoît Plisson, Emmanuel Brehier
Total funding: $6.4m
Harry’s is a men’s grooming startup that develops and sells shaving equipment and accessories for men on its online platform. The razor and replacement blades are designed and manufactured in-house in addition to other shaving products. On Harry’s online store, customers can buy its products a-la-carte or they can sign up for a subscription so that they receive grooming accessories regularly.
Heist Studios is a body-wear startup specialising in tights for women, which it sells to consumers on its online store. Heist Studio’s mission is to build the underwear brand of the future, beginning with its reinvention of tights. Heist has received press attention for its tights and it has been growing at a 25% rate, month on month.
2014 – London, UK
Edzard van der Wyck, Toby Darbyshire
Total funding: $8.1m
Huel is an innovative, meal-replacement brand that uses the direct-to-consumer model. Huel’s meal replacement products include all of the carbs, protein, fibre, fats and 27 vitamins and minerals that we require from our food. Huel’s products come in four forms: powder, Hot & Savoury, ready-to-drink, and bars. Huel markets their products as versatile, being able to help customers with building muscle, managing weight and eating healthily.
2014- Tring, Hertford, UK
James Collier, Julian Hearn
Total funding: £20m
Infarm is a German startup that builds and distributes efficient vertical farms throughout cities. Infarm uses a combination of efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and Machine Learning, to provide an alternative food system that is affordable and effective. Infarms are remotely controlled through a cloud-based farming platform to grow fresh produce for cities.
2013 – Berlin, Germany
Erez Galonska, Guy Galonska, Osnat Michaeli
Total funding: $404.5m
Mejuri is a direct to consumer fine jewellery brand. Mejuri designs and manufactures fine, everyday jewellery that is handcrafted but is sold without the traditional retail mark-up. Mejuri’s jewellery is handcrafted by jewellers around the world. The jewellery materials are sustainably sourced from around the world, in compliance with the Responsible Jewellery Council.
2013 – Toronto, Canada
Majed Masad, Noura Sakkijha
Total funding: $28m
MORI is an innovative and sustainable brand pioneering babywear products. MORI is disrupting the traditional market with the direct-to-consumer model and its specialisation in unique fabrics in babywear. MORI aims to create infant clothing in the softest, high-quality fabrics, which are sustainably sourced. MORI also sells maternity clothing and a range of other baby products direct-to-consumer via its website.
2015 – London, UK
Akin Onal, Cam Miller
Total funding: $8.2m
Mosa Meat is an innovative food startup that produces a slaughter-free hamburger made directly from cow cells. Instead of raising and slaughtering a cow for meat, Mosa Meat harvests cow cells to produce its cruelty-free burgers. Mosa Meat’s mission is to facilitate the transition to a truly sustainable global food system.
2013 – Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mark Post, Peter Verstrate
Total funding: $96m
Piglet is a direct-to-consumer brand offering a range of homeware products, but specialising in linen products. Piglet’s brand focus is on comfortable, low-maintenance linen products that are still of high quality. Piglet began with linen bedding and has since expanded into other homewares such as sleepwear, table linens, curtains and more.
2017 – Bradford, UK
Total funding: £6m
Propercorn is a London-based snack food startup. Propercorn sells its products direct to consumers on its eCommerce site, and via retail distribution. Propercorn is now a well-known brand marketing multiple flavours of popcorn and has now expanded into the production of lentil chips and popcorn bars.
2011 – London, UK
Cassandra Stavrou, Paul Fisher, Ryan Kohn
Total funding: £7m
SimplyCook is a cooking startup that offers subscription-based recipe boxes to its customers. Subscribers receive home recipe kits with recipes that make it easy to cook restaurant-quality food in 20 minutes or less. Each monthly subscription box contains four recipes and four nonperishable ingredient kits that are then added to fresh ingredients that the customer purchases from the supermarket.
2013 – London, UK
Total funding: $10.5m
Tails.com is an online pet nutrition startup providing tailor-made food designed for optimised nutrition for dogs. The online retailer designs bespoke, unique, freshly blended food for dogs.
Tails.com has been recognised as a high growth startup, winning 4th place in the 2017 Startup 100 awards
2013 – Richmond upon Thames, UK
Graham Bosher, James Davidson, Karen Freeman, Kat Linger, Steve Webster
Total funding: £5m
Taylor & Hart
Taylor & Hart are a jeweller specialising in bespoke engagement rings. Taylor & Hart aim to enhance the proposal experience with their custom made, high-quality engagement rings at a competitive price. The company’s vision is to provide the customer with engagement rings that perfectly symbolise the emotions of the couple.
2010 – London, UK
David Sutton, Nikolay Piriankov, Shane Hunt
Total funding: $5.8m
Vitafy is a Munich-based fitness nutrition startup and is centred on the healthy living movement. Vitafy supplies nutrition and dietary supplements for fitness, weight management and health direct to consumers. Vitafy has even developed its own brands such as the food brand WYLD, which includes various products such as cereals and protein shakes.
2013 – Munich, Germany
Christian Böhm, Georg Bader, Jürgen Englisch
Total funding: €10m
Yooji is a French startup producing delicious frozen meals for babies. Yooji produces its baby food with organic ingredients, no additives, no added salt, and no gluten. The startup aims to create tasty, nutritional food for babies using its process of gentle cooking and fast freezing.
2012 – Bordeaux, France
Frederic Ventre, Philippe Briffault
Total funding: $19.3m
The list above includes startups that are experts at communication – getting the message across about their products and services.
Likewise, Splento is helping to improve businesses daily – by creating visual content, tools and resources to aid marketing, attract new clients, highlight USPs, promote other advantages and much more…
As part of that role, here is our free webinar on video content and how it can help your business – today.
For all your visual content you can record your videos yourself, or if you prefer – contact Splento for help.
We are experts in visual content – we make videos that make your business grow.
Contact Splento today:
Data source: crunchbase.com