True Invests in Modern Intimacy Brand maude.
True, has invested in maude, a modern and inclusive sexual wellness company looking to destigmatise the sexual health category. Today marks the close of a $2.2m investment round, bringing maude’s total funding to $4.2m since launch. True, in addition to CASSIUS, Outbound Ventures, Vice Ventures, and Patina Brands have joined existing investors RRE and Tune House Capital and angels including Dakota Johnson, who joins the company as Co-Creative Director. This raise follows a successful year for the early-stage company—which experienced 50% growth QoQ in 2020 and had over 22,000 pre-orders for its best-selling vibe throughout the pandemic.
The funding round will be used to grow maude’s team as well as expand its product line and content platform—focusing on new customer acquisition and supporting increased demand across domestic and international audiences. In addition, the raise will support the launch of maude in larger key retailers in 2021.
maude chose True as its investment partner due to its successful experience in scaling brands across online and offline channels from the earliest stages to £100m+ sales, providing access to capital, talent and systems required to support high growth businesses. maude will have access to True’s proprietary innovation lab to work with cutting edge technologies to assist in scaling their business. maude will also benefit from exposure to some of True’s corporate partners such as John Lewis & Partners, 7-Eleven and Johnson & Johnson. Alongside this, True’s network will be critical to maude’s next phase of growth and pivotal in increasing brand awareness and partnering with additional global retail partners.
Founded by Éva Goicochea in April 2018 after successful careers in healthcare legislation and brand strategy (early employee at Everlane), Goicochea is one of only 60 Latinx women to raise over $1M in VC funding. As a brand built on quality, simplicity and inclusivity, maude stands out as the only modern intimacy company that is focused on sexual wellness for all people, providing thoughtful and accessible products to promote intimacy in everyday life with essentials in sexual, bath, and body categories. In June 2020, the company relaunched its content platform, themaudern.com, with the addition of two new verticals for a wider generation of audiences: The Essentials (18-25) and The Golden, (45+).
“The sexual wellness industry has been monopolized for so many years by the same tired male-focused incumbents—thus the industry has been the opposite of intimate. It’s been uncomfortable, confusing, transactional, divisive. The response to these legacy players has been a pendulum swing: Hyper-feminine, trend-focused newer brands that still treat sex like a taboo or clinical subject,” explains Goicochea. “Our take at maude is that sex is human. By elevating the design and marketing with inclusive content built around overall intimacy and health, we’re continuing to destigmatize the category to foster a new chapter in the industry for the next 100+ years.”
In just two short years, after launching with just four sex essentials—maude expanded to bath and body products, taking intimacy outside of the bedroom. This expansion continues to emphasize maude’s mission to support self- and partner- care as it relates to intimacy and sex. maude was a 2019 CircleUp25 award winner—establishing itself as a consumer brand to watch, joining alumni like Glossier and Harry’s.
Claire Cherry, Investment Principal says: “At True we look to back genuine digitally native category disruptors, where founders are bringing an entirely fresh perspective to an often stale industry. We certainly see this in Eva and the team she is building at maude, where the vision of inclusive intimacy and its relationship with health and wellbeing are unparalleled in existing brands. We look forward to bringing this fit-for-the-future brand to the European market.”
“True is next to none in understanding the European consumer and retail ecosystem,” says maude founder, Éva Goicochea. “As we continue to expand our international presence and venture into new retail channels, we look forward to working alongside Claire and the True team, leveraging their experience and insight to bring our products to new markets.”