Grace Gould has spent her life thinking about the intersection of retail and tech. She started out in Apple Retail, and then moved on to Index Ventures where she worked on early-stage investments. She then worked at PCH International as the VP of Global Retail Strategy, working with companies and hardware makers to develop, manufacture, package and distribute products.
But throughout her career, Gould has always seen a hole in the consumer electronics retail space.
“The interesting thing about consumer electronics is that you have these brands — Apple stores, Microsoft stores, Samsung stores &mdash that sell a very limited number of products,” said Gould. “And then you have big-box retailers like Best Buy. No one is doing an interesting lifestyle business within consumer electronics.”
That’s where Soda Says comes in.
Soda Says is an e-commerce marketplace focused on lifestyle gadgets, such as the Elvie Smart Breast Pump and the Gingko Edge alarm clock.
The company curates useful, aesthetically pleasing gadgets and puts them in categories like Accessories, Wellness, Lifestyle and Kids, with a specific aim to help small hardware companies grow.
Today, Soda Says launches in the United States with a new vertical: women’s sex tech.
As it stands now, there isn’t really a retail experience that makes sense for women’s sex tech. Customers either have to wander into a sex toy store or go for a little internet adventure. But Soda Says is taking an offline approach to this online business, partnering with department stores like Nieman Marcus and Nordstrom to offer pop-up experiences where shoppers already are.
The Sex Tech collection includes products from brands such as Dame, MysteryVibe and Le Wand.
Soda Says operates on a hybrid model, sometimes buying inventory of products for resale and other times simply listing the product on the website.
The company has raised a total of $2.5 million from lead investor, U.K.-based LocalGlobe, with participation from investors including ADV, and founder and CEO of PCH International, Liam Casey, among others.