Y Combinator’s L. Condoms Provides Safe Sex, On-Demand

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I don’t know what kind of a situation one needs to be in to need a pack of condoms delivered in under an hour when there’s likely a fully stocked convenience store within a 15-minute walk, but one San Francisco-based startup has you covered.

L. Condoms is a startup in the current batch of Y Combinator that promises delivery of comfortable, paraben and glycerin-free prophylactics straight to your door in under an hour.

That attractive luxury aside, the startup also aims to do some remarkable good in the world – provide contraceptive products and a way for women to make money from them in the developing world.

L. founder Talia Frenkel was a busy photojournalist, documenting the latest floods, fires and other natural disasters for the United Nations and the Red Cross when she was sent to photograph women and girls dying of HIV/AIDS in Africa in 2008. This sexually transmitted disease is the No. 1 killer of women of reproductive age on a global scale, according to the World Health Organization.

That sobering statistic stirred something inside of Frenkel. “I didn’t realize the No. 1 killer of women was completely preventable and I think that really inspired me to action,” she told TechCrunch.

I didn’t realize the number one killer of women was completely preventable, and I think that really inspired me to action.
— Talia Frenkel, L. Condoms
Frenkel bootstrapped L. more than a year-and-a-half ago with the goal to save these women from a disease they didn’t have to get with the proper use of contraceptives. She does this with a one-to-one purchase model. One L. condom is donated to a woman in Uganda for every condom ordered through the L. platform.

L. deploys the condoms through a network of more than 2,000 female entrepreneurs working on the ground in Uganda. The women sell the condoms at a low cost, thus creating a long-term and sustainable business that can empower these women and help educate others on the proper use of the condoms.

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Frenkel also made her products enticing to those on the home front. L. condoms are made with non-toxic, vegan-friendly natural latex, potentially reducing allergies associated with condom use for those with a latex allergy. Condoms are delivered via eco-friendly bike messengers day or night in under an hour in San Francisco, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Frenkel told TechCrunch that, on top of the home-delivery option, her products are now in over 1,000 stores, including CVS, Target and Whole Foods, and that sales have increased 4x since joining YC.

So you actually can put on some pants and walk down the street to purchase them when in the mood for (literally) world-changing sex.