Sex Wellness Startup maude Surpasses $10 Million In Funding, Éva Goicochea Shares How She Raised Series A
With $10 Million raised to date over four funding rounds, maude will use recent funds to grow its team and invest in new products and content.
Last week, Rho Director of Product Marketing Olivia McNaughten and maude Founder & CEO Éva Goicochea got together at ecommercetech.io’s 2021 virtual webinar to discuss how Goicochea’s Brooklyn NY-based modern intimacy company is normalizing - quite successfully - the conversation around inclusivity and sexual wellness. Goicochea’s sex product startup just announced $10 Million in total funding, after confirming $5.8M in Series A funding.
Recent funding is led by True Beauty Ventures, along with notable participation from Fable Investments (Natura & Co) and Endeavor. This makes maude the first sex-tech product company since 2013 to make it past the seed stage. The success is unprecedented not only for a sexual wellness company but also for a Latina-led business.
The road to raising
“Depending on where you come from and your network, fundraising can be really scary,” Goicochea said. “But it’s important to know there’s no single roadmap for how to raise money. It really does come down to your relationships, including your alignment with great companies like Rho, and knowing how much money you need and whether you’re working with a fundable business.”
With an already successful career in eCommerce, Goicochea knew the beauty and retail landscape would be ready for a new approach to everyday intimacy routines when she founded maude in 2018, and she was right. The company saw incredible growth in 2020, with August 2021 being the first month maude is fully stocked. Today, the startup is famous for its sleek and modern vibrators, lubricants, condoms, bath soaks, oils, and candles that are marketed in the same way some brands market top-quality nutrients or skincare to its customers.
These doors are made for knocking
But while maude has found great success as the first sexual wellness company to raise Series A funding in over seven years, Goichocea maintains that fundraising can be quite overwhelming, if not “nebulous at times,” she said.
“I think, for me, it was about building relationships over a long period of time. It’s one of those things that amounts to who you spend time with and how you build your network,” explained Goichocea, who credits past mentorships and learning opportunities for her success, like working at Everlane as one of its early employees.
“Matching the right stage of business with the right investor was probably the first big lesson. I did a pre-seed round, and I was able to find a great lead with X Factor Ventures, a smaller fund set aside for female founders, which is how I found one of my mentors,” she explained. “But this relationship came from a cold email to X Factor’s website that told them what I was doing. I knocked on every door and eventually learned the language.”
For people, by people
Now maude’s board is entirely female and majority Latina, with Cristina Nuñez from True Beauty Ventures and Paola Felipak from Fable Investments taking seats as part of the most recent raise. Nevertheless, Goichocea reminds us that Maude is a gender-inclusive company and brand that “very much falls under the personal care umbrella,” and at no point during her fundraising efforts did she exclusively seek out those investors who look like her.
“We are a business for people funded by people - and while every round has been led primarily by female leaders, there are lots of men at the table!” laughed Goichocea. “I never was looking for just female founders. I was looking for people who simply could get behind the business and recognize this is a global industry that needs disrupting.”
A vibrant future
With $10 Million raised to date over four funding rounds, maude will use recent funds to grow its team and invest in new products and content. The company also brought onboard “Fifty Shades of Grey” actress Dakota Johnson as investor and co-creative director in 2020, after receiving more than 25,000 pre-orders for its “vibe” product and experiencing 50% quarter-over-quarter growth.
“From day one we wanted to be omnichannel, because that’s where the disruption happens. But I think right now it’s about 80% D2C and 20% retail. The shift will take time, but I’m really excited,” said Goichocea. “I do believe in thoughtful growth - I believe in profitability. Our partners and investors believe in the same thing, and so we’ll be very intentional with how we spend the money. You probably won’t see a bus ad for maude anytime soon.”
In just three years, maude has been internationally recognized and was named a 2019 CircleUp 25 award winner as a consumer brand to watch. You can find the brand in various retail shops like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Saks.com, Urban Outfitters, and Revolve. For more information about maude, or to view their full line of products and order from the site, visit getmaude.com.
And for information about how Rho helps clients like maude access high credit limits, flexible terms, and real-time reporting to make business finance easy, read about our corporate cards. Or to learn more about what Rho can do for you, get in touch.