Subscription e-commerce as a category has had a rocky history, with funding falling in 2016 but deal count up in Q2’16. Amidst the ups and downs, at least five subscription companies died in 2015, including Beachmint which focused on celebrity-curated products.
However, with Unilever’s acquisition of subscription razor startup Dollar Shave Club for $1B in July 2016, the category may have regained some momentum. The space still includes well-funded startups in various verticals, including Harry’s in razors ($287M in disclosed funding), Ipsy in makeup ($103M), BarkBox in pet items ($82M), and more.
To understand the current market landscape, we used CB Insights data to create a market map of subscription e-commerce startups. The market map includes only startups offering subscriptions for physical goods — either of their own items, or curated boxes of other brands’ items. We excluded food subscription startups, such as Blue Apron, and subscriptions for services or experiences, like Classpass. The 57 companies on our market map have raised over $1.4B in total.
View the infographic below, and scroll down to read category descriptions, along with select funding and investor information for included startups. This graphic is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in the industry; a full list of e-commerce subscription startups is available to our clients.
Click image to enlarge. Infographic includes only private companies.
- Beauty & cosmetics – These startups provide curated subscription boxes of their own or other brands’ beauty items. Birchbox and Ipsy are the leaders in the space, with $87M and $103M in funding, respectively.
- Beer & wine – Subscription shipments of beer and wine.
- Child & baby items – Subscriptions for children’s items, such as Bitsbox, which focuses on teaching kids to code, and Rockets of Awesome, which offers a subscription for children’s clothing.
- Coffee & tea – Curated subscription boxes of coffee and tea.
- Leisure – Loot Crate is a relatively well-funded company in this diverse category, with $19M in funding for subscriptions of geek and gaming pop culture items. Other players include Datebox, which delivers items for a date each month to couples, and Cairn, which serves outdoor enthusiasts with boxes including goods like energy bars, headlamps, and firestarters.
- Men’s apparel – Companies such as Bombfell ($1M raised) and Five Four Club (bootstrapped) ship male-targeted boxes of apparel and accessories.
- Pet items – Startups offering scheduled deliveries for dog toys, like BarkBox, or healthy pet food, like The Farmer’s Dog.
- Personal care – These startups generally produce and provide subscription refills for personal care items. Harry’s offer razors, The Honest Company provides subscription bundles of various personal care items, Quip and Goby both target toothbrushes, Lola offers organic cotton tampons, and Monthly Gift sends women monthly feminine care packages.
- Vitamins & supplements – Subscription refills for vitamins and supplements. For example Nootrobox ($3M in funding) focuses on “body hacking” supplements, while Y Combinator graduate Multiply Labs aims to provide personally customized supplements on a recurring basis.
- Women’s apparel – This category includes the most well-funded company in our infographic, the beleaguered TechStyle Fashion Group (formerly JustFab), with $300M in funding, which aims to offer members personally curated selections of apparel and accessories each month. Other companies include Stitch Fix, AdoreMe, which focuses on lingerie, and Gwynnie Bee, which targets the plus-size market.
|Ipsy||Beauty & Cosmetics||Sherpa Capital, 500 Startups|
|GlossyBox||Beauty & Cosmetics||Holtzbrinck Ventures, Rocket Internet, Kinnevik|
|Birchbox||Beauty & Cosmetics||Slow Ventures, Accel Partners, First Round Capital|
|Julep Beauty||Beauty & Cosmetics||Andreessen Horowitz, Jay-Z, Maveron|
|Bellabox||Beauty & Cosmetics||Square Peg Capital, Allure Media|
|Scentbird||Beauty & Cosmetics||Scrum Ventures, 500 Startups, Eclipse Ventures|
|Brew Publik||Beer & Wine||500 Accelerator, SierraMaya360|
|Splash Wines||Beer & Wine||CircleUp|
|Bright Cellars||Beer & Wine||CSA Partners, gener8tor, BrightStar Wisconsin|
|Vinebox||Beer & Wine||Y Combinator, TMT Investments|
|Bitsbox||Child & Baby Items||Flywheel Ventures, AT&T Aspire Accelerator|
|Rockets of Awesome||Child & Baby Items||Forerunner Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Launch Fund|
|BimBasket||Child & Baby Items||Hubert Burda Media, Black Ocean Group|
|Please And Carrots||Child & Baby Items||Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator|
|Sudden Coffee||Coffee & Tea||Founder Collective, Lifeline Ventures|
|Bean Box||Coffee & Tea||Undisclosed|
|Craft Coffee||Coffee & Tea||Y Combinator, Kima Ventures|
|La The Box||Coffee & Tea||Weber Investissements|
|Loot Crate||Leisure||Sterling VC, Upfront Ventures|
|Quarterly||Leisure||Collaborative Fund, True Ventures, VTF Capital|
|Cairn||Leisure||Brian Spaly, Jim Collis, Rick Dalzell|
|Trendy Butler||Men’s Apparel||SOSventures, Global Trust Group|
|Bespoke Post||Men’s Apparel||500 Startups, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Scout Ventures|
|Bombfell||Men’s Apparel||500 Startups, Great Oaks Venture Capital, SOSventures|
|Manpacks||Men’s Apparel||500 Startups, Venture51|
|Five Four Club||Men’s Apparel||N/A|
|Hall & Madden||Men’s Apparel||N/A|
|Curator and Mule||Men’s Apparel||N/A|
|Alpha Outpost||Men’s Apparel||Undisclosed|
|BarkBox||Pet Items||Resolute.vc, RRE Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments|
|The Farmer’s Dog||Pet Items||Collaborative Fund, Forerunner Ventures|
|Woufbox||Pet Items||Europexpo, Network Finances|
|Pupbox||Pet Items||500 Accelerator|
|Harry’s||Personal Care||Thrive Capital, Harrison Metal, Highland Capital Partners|
|The Honest Company||Personal Care||Institutional Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners|
|Lola||Personal Care||Lerer Hippeau Ventures, BBG Ventures, BoxGroup|
|Monthly Gift||Personal Care||Undisclosed|
|Walker & Company||Personal Care||Andreessen Horowitz, Collaborative Fund, Google Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Upfront Ventures|
|Quip||Personal Care||Trisiras Group|
|VitaFive||Vitamins & Supplements||Undisclosed|
|Bulu Box||Vitamins & Supplements||Dundee Venture Capital, Flyover Capital, Linseed Capital|
|Nootrobox||Vitamins & Supplements||Andreessen Horowitz, Marissa Mayer|
|Tespo (Life Boost)||Vitamins & Supplements||Undisclosed|
|Multiply Labs||Vitamins & Supplements||Y Combinator|
|Hum Nutrition||Vitamins & Supplements||Undisclosed|
|JustFab||Women’s Apparel||Technology Crossover Ventures, Rho Ventures, Matrix Partners|
|Stitch Fix||Women’s Apparel||Baseline Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Benchmark|
|Le Tote||Women’s Apparel||FundersClub, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz|
|AdoreMe||Women’s Apparel||Ventech, Upfront Ventures, SOSventures|
|Gwynnie Bee||Women’s Apparel||Undisclosed|
|MeUndies||Women’s Apparel||Revolution, Walden International, Winklevoss Capital|
|FabFitFun||Women’s Apparel||NEA, 500 Startups, Simon Venture Group, Upfront Ventures, Rachel Zoe|
Want more data on e-commerce financing trends? Log in to CB Insights or sign up for free below.
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity