Let’s Talk About Sex(ual Wellness), Baby

Sexual wellness. It’s not something people feel comfortable talking about. Let alone investing in. But when there is stalemate in a large, unexamined industry, there is opportunity. Opportunity to reshape the conversation. Opportunity to remove the social taboo and stigmas associated with it. Opportunity to disrupt a massive market. Enter Maude: www.getmaude.com.

Maude’s first product line

The global sexual wellness market is large, growing, and unchanged for the last fifty years. The market generates $17B in annual revenue and is controlled by shortlist of incumbents whose names we all know (Trojan, Sir Richards, Durex). Though the industry is growing at over 10% YOY, the current incumbent’s focus remains on marketing to heterosexual cis males aged 18–24 and with an oftentimes singular voice. However, research shows 40% of condom purchasers are now women. In addition, there are meaningful upward shifts in the average marital age and average number of sexual partners in the US and abroad. Perhaps even more timely, the current socio-political environment has exposed cracks within our culture through which formerly taboo conversations have burst through our Facebook feeds and into our living rooms. Bottom line: it’s time to talk about (and invest in) sex.*

These are the reasons I am excited to be an investor in Maude.

Maude is a modern health company that exists to make sex an integrated part of everyday wellness. They do this by providing premium, easy-to-use essentials, beginning with lubricants, condoms, a vibrator, and a travel kit that are impeccably designed, with beautiful packaging and tasteful aesthetics. Their vision is to redefine the sexual medicine cabinet with simple products and inclusive, friendly literature.

Maude is led by a team of experienced brand and product builders who can enliven and disrupt this consumer space. Eva Goicochea has helped build brands we all know and love such as Steven Alan and Everlane; Dina Epstein has spent the past ten years building products for some of the aforementioned juggernauts of the sex product industry. Combined, they are the voice for a generation that uses products we all take for granted, but rarely discuss. We at XFactor Ventures believe that Eva and Dina have the experience and the point of view to build a compelling brand that speaks to the modern world.

Maude launches in April. The current cultural climate has created a window to shake up this moth-eaten market with new, innovative thinking and design. We believe Eva, Dina and the Maude team will help evolve the global conversation, and build Maude into a market leading company.

*I very much hope you understood my recursive Salt ‘N Pepa reference.