Sphynx, the women’s razor start-up, has closed a $2 million seed funding round.
The brand, founded by Leila Kashani, raised the funds from Ludlow Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Trail Mix Ventures and others.
Sphynx is best known for its All-in-One Portable Razor, which is sold at Target, Ulta Beauty, Free People, Anthropologie, and its own branded web site. The product allows users to spray, moisturize and then shave, and is meant for last-minute touch-ups. Industry sources estimate the business has done about $2.5 million in retail sales.
The business started when founder and chief executive officer Kashani kept missing spots when she would shave. One time, she forgot to shave a whole armpit — and a buyer at Target that she was presenting to as part of a previous job in the toy industry took notice.
“I was constantly realizing, ‘Oh, there’s another patch,'” Kashani said. She came home from the Target meeting and decided she needed to turn her idea for an out-of-the-shower razor into reality.
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“Today’s generation of women don’t have time to keep up with beauty [the way women used to] — it’s really about smart, fast beauty,” Kashani said.
The All-in-One Portable Razor, $15, works by twisting a dial in the middle, which will reveal either a spray bottle for a refillable water container, stick moisturizer for shaving, or the razor itself. The product comes in four colors, with a fifth — gold — launching exclusively on the Sphynx site for the holiday season.
While to date, Sphynx has been focused on shaving, the new capital should allow the business to continue its product development journey, which will span all kinds of problem-solving products, Kashani said.
“[The company] is focused around simplifying our lives and solving problems — some grooming, some beauty, some personal care,” Kashani said. “How we’re thinking about product launches is, ‘Do I have oh s–t moments with these products?’ And then solving that problem.”
Behind the scenes, Sphynx has been working to build up its team over the past six months, said Leila’s husband and cofounder, David. But future investments in the marketing department, operations and product development team as the brand scales are likely, he said.
For 2019, the brand has new launches planned for January, as well as a big internationally expansion into Europe.
For the U.S., Sphynx is considering doing retailer exclusives depending on where the product sits in the store. “For Target, for example, we’re in the shave category, so we’re thinking through how to expand the aisle in different ways,” Kashani said. But in Ulta, the product is in several different zones, so the product assortment possibilities span different categories, she said.