Pinkie, a maker of period pads for adolescents, raises $1M
Pinkie, the New York-based maker of period pads for tweens and teens, raised a $1 million seed, founders Fiona Simmonds and Sana Clegg tell Axios.
Why it matters: The market for feminine hygiene, health and wellness products is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of mid- to high-single digits.
- That accounts for a growing number of startups such as The Honey Pot Co. and new investment funds focused on the space from firms such as Amboy Street Ventures.
Details: Proceeds from the raise will be invested in marketing and product runs as Pinkie launches in 500 Target stores, the founders say.
- Raising funds from male investors proved difficult — until the founders asked them to take the idea back to their wives and daughters for their opinion on market needs.
- That's when the round began gaining more traction, to the point it was oversubscribed, the founders say.
What's next: Pinkie wants to launch a tampon product.
- If it snags another national retail partner, Pinkie will look to raise a Series A, Simmonds and Clegg say.
How it works: Pinkie's pads are smaller in design to accommodate the bodies of adolescents, for whom adult-sized products are too large.
- To date, CPG companies' answer has been to take an adult-sized pad and place it in a box marketed to tweens and teens — which doesn't solve the initial problem, the founders say.
- Pinkie's pads are organic, plant-based and hypoallergenic, though there is a film made of plastic used for the back sheet to prevent liquid from leaking (the company hopes to develop an alternative).
- Each pad comes with a slip-out baggie, which can hold the used product for easy disposal later on.
Of note: Though the founders began selling the brand via their website — and it is a top 50 seller on Amazon — they do not think of Pinkie as a DTC.
- To test and then sell the products, the company made the pads available in private girls' schools.
The intrigue: Pinkie deposited its early seed money with Silicon Valley Bank not long before the bank collapsed.
- In fact, the startup was going to announce its raise on March 10 — the day that the U.S. government took control of SVB.
- Simmonds says she was at her daughter's birthday party when her husband alerted her to SVB's troubles, which triggered a panic-filled weekend.
- Simmonds was ultimately able to access the cash and Pinkie began banking with Chase.
The bottom line: CPG incumbents will either have to "compete with us or come talk to us," Simmonds says.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of Amboy Street Ventures.