Following a successful launch into Walmart stores last year, sexual wellness startup Cake is expanding its mainstream presence into Target.
The move is buoyed by a $2.5 million bridge round to bring its total funding to date to $8.3 million. Los Angeles-based Cake raised $4 million in funding last year when it made its national retail launch into Walmart.
New investors into the company this time around include Bullish and Kendra Jackson, while Lerer Hippeau, which led the $4 million seed round, is back again with additional seed investors, including Sugar Capital, Brand Foundry Ventures, Selva Ventures, Silas Capital, Gabby Slome, Brian Bordainick and Kate Wallman.
Cake co-founders Hunter Morris and Mitch Orkis met while working together at another brand and bonded over what they saw was an unaddressed opportunity for sexual wellness products.
“We are definitely excited to bring newness to this space and different products so that people have a new way to think about sexual wellness,” Morris told TechCrunch.
It indeed struck a chord with consumers, and between February 2021 and February 2022, Cake saw over 500% in revenue growth. It is also seeing 40% of its customers make repeat purchases. Most of the company’s products, nearly 20, are available via Cake’s direct-to-consumer store.
The company offers lubricants, condoms, massagers and enhancers, and between Walmart and Target, Cake products are now in more than 5,000 stores. Four of its products are in Walmart, including a men’s self-play toy called “Stroker” and three lubricants and lotions.
Target also has four products, the Stroker and the “So-low Lotion,” similar to Walmart, but then two new products, the “Vibrating Stroker” and the “Little Sucker.”
With the launch, Cake has implemented a color-coded experience, so products intended for certain uses are now all the same color, though the company also wants to encourage consumers to mix and match.
Cake is not the first of these types of products to go into Target, but Orkis says the company brings knowledge and education of the space to its products, which is unique.
“We are going to be as fun-loving as possible because people learn best when they aren’t embarrassed or ashamed,” he added. “Our brand tone is very much ‘We are learning ourselves and trying the best we can, so help us learn, tell us what your concerns are, and we will figure them out together in a safe and beautiful space.’”
The new funding gives Cake some cushion to address inventory needs, marketing, further build out its team and to add new partners. They plan to double down on its retail efforts as it works to build an omnichannel presence that treats sex care as common as skin care, Orkis said.
Intimate health is gaining ground. Last month, The New York Times reported that Sephora added two new brands in this space to its list of offerings, joining others, like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. Morris believes the more kinds of products that get into stores, the better for everyone.
“Any change is incredible for us and the brand, and any rise in tides affects us all,” he added.