We love this! The disruptive start-up, Dollar Shave Club has been bought by behemoth, Unilever for US$1B (in cash). This is brilliant because it’s giving Unilever the ability to take on P&G’s overpriced and successful Gillette brand. (N.B Unilever don’t have a razor brand in their current portfolio).
For those who don’t know, Dollar Shave Club was founded in 2011 by Michael Dubin (see him in the promotional video below – one of the best viral ads). It’s a mens grooming start-up that runs on a subscription model – whereby you are delivered razors, shave creme etc to your door at the fraction of what it cost to purchase a Gillette razor. It was valued at $600 million – and raised $160 in total – mainly from VC funds like Venrick, Pritzker and Forerunner Ventures.
The business was projecting revenue of $200 million with more than 3 million subscribers/members. That said it’s not yet profitable – but it’s due to get there at the end of this year. As a part of the deal, Dubin will continue to run the company and it will sit as a standalone business.
We think this is a brilliant competitive move on behalf of Unilever.