How do you get to a billion dollars? One buck at a time.
European consumer goods company Unilever has acquired Dollar Shave Club, the men’s grooming start-up founded in 2012, the companies announced on Wednesday morning.
The deal reportedly valued Dollar Shave Club (DSC) at $1 billion in an all-cash agreement, according to the New York Times. (The companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement in their announcement.)
DSC burst into the Internet’s consciousness with the help of a viral video. The company parlayed that success into a direct-to-consumer subscription business that took in $152 million in 2015.
Subscribers to the service sign up to have razors and other products delivered every month, some for as little as $1 plus $2 shipping and handling. Since starting with razors, the company has added shave creams, hair products, moisturizer and other products to its line.
“Dollar Shave Club is an innovative and disruptive male grooming brand with incredibly deep connections to its diverse and highly engaged consumers,” said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, in a press release.
The subscription service is sometimes presented as an alternative to Amazon for a subset of cheap everyday products.
Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin will stay on as CEO, the companies said.
The acquisition is a major coup for the companies that invested in DSC, a company that at one point had serious difficulties raising money.
David Pakman, a venture capitalist with Venrock Associates and an early investors in DSC, penned a congratulatory blog post, noting the struggles and congratulating Dubin.
“Success was not always obvious. Despite growing from $7M in revenue in year one to $20M in revenue in year two, no new investor was willing to lead the Series B round,” Pakman wrote about the company’s early fundraising efforts.
“But most importantly, thank you to Michael Dubin,” Pakman wrote. “You are one of the greatest CEOs I have ever seen operate. You deserve all the spoils of great success. As you always said, ‘Great things happen when your ass smells fantastic.'”
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