Every day, individuals navigate a barrage of messages encouraging them to be empowered when choosing what they use on their bodies. From makeup and shampoo to clothing and skincare, in the U.S., we have more choices now than ever.
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San Francisco-based Cora, which makes tampons and pads from organic products, is betting that people want the same diversity of choices when it comes to feminine hygiene products as well.
The company has raised $7.5 million to expand its business with Harbinger Ventures leading the Series A round. Cora has raised a known total of $13.5 million in venture funding to date, per Crunchbase.
Crunchbase News addressed the menstruation startup industry a few months ago, finding that companies like Cora, Lola, and menstrual disc startup Flex are combining the excitement over on-demand, customizable services with interest in organic, healthy living to tackle a decades-old industry that is ripe for disruption.
When we last spoke with Cora cofounder Molly Hayward, she told Crunchbase News that the company is focused on growth over profitability and that the company was conservative when approaching fundraising. Hayward told Crunchbase News today that the company decided to fundraise to double-down on its current growth trajectory and invest in product development.
“Part of our core thesis as a brand is just that we don’t want to simply private label products and put our logo on them. We want to actually make better products and use the modern material technology that’s available,” Hayward said.
With competitive customer acquisition, particularly in an industry where buying behaviors are traditionally offline–when you’re out of pads or tampons, most people run to the store–Cora developed a hybrid, omnichannel model which combines both direct-to-consumer and brick-and-mortar access. Hayward said the company decided to incorporate brick-and-mortar sales into its model early on because of the nature of the industry.
“The expectation, I think, is becoming more and more that I should be able to find my preferred and trusted brands wherever I’m choosing to shop,” Hayward said. “So that’s really our primary intention.”
The company partners with Target to offer Cora products offline. With the funding, it will expand its presence in Target locations over the coming months, while also making more products, like a menstrual cup and new pads and liners, available in store.
Cora also donates a percentage of its revenue to nonprofits focused on providing menstruation products to individuals in Kenya, India, and the U.S. Per its press release, the company “has provided five million pads to girls in need in India and Kenya, and 100,000 products to women in need in the U.S.”
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