Scentbird launched out of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator nearly a year ago with the goal to provide the roughly 63 million women in the U.S. market who like to spray themselves with sweet smells on a regular basis.
The startup is now in YC’s latest batch and tells TechCrunch it recently received $1 million in seed funding from YC, 500 Startups, TMT Investments, Dominion Capital and a few notable angels including Emmett Shear of Twitch.TV.
Scentbird grew to over 8,000 active subscribers in the last five months, according to founder Mariya Nurislamova. Compare that to the less than 100 subscribers the startup had when we first covered it last September. The recent infusion of cash and strong growth signaled the perfect time for Scentbird to offer something for the men.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian first posted about the male version of the service on Product Hunt this morning, calling it the “Dollar Shave Club for cologne.” While that’s not quite the image Nurislomava wants to go for – she wrote on the same Product Hunt discussion that it “doesn’t have the luxury aura to it,” she agreed that it does get “a point across fast.”
The marketing for Scentbird Men targets straight guys hoping to attract a mate. “Women love men who smell good” reads the website messaging. As a straight woman, I can say good cologne definitely beats a strong whiff of Axe Body Spray on any dude. However, I think we can all agree that most people prefer those around them to smell good, whether for romantic reasons or not.
The male scent market is a bit smaller than the female perfume market – the majority of men either spray it on too thick or just don’t wear it at all. But that’s starting to change, according to Euro Monitor International. Department store cologne sales rose 3.7 percent, pulling in $7.92 billion in 2013. Scentbird could capitalize on that growth with men’s growing interest to smell nice.
Gentlemen looking for a way to smell better without breaking the bank can add 8 ml / 0.27 fl oz bottle (120 sprays) of Scentbird’s array of designer colognes for about $15 each month. Like its male online cologne sales rival Scent Trunk, Scentbird also lets users build a scent profile and choose their preferred cologne smell to try out.
Scent Trunk is more focused on indie and niche smells and is more about direct sales than small subscription trials, while Scentbird Men is only for designer cologne choices at the moment and is focused on offering 30-day supplies. However, Nurislova said the startup will be introducing more niche fragrances in the future and has asked the community for their input on what they’d like to see offered on the site.
The new seed investment will be used to continue the rapid pace of growth and work on building out more product offerings from the platform.