Industry

Billion Dollar Shave Club: third largest ecommerce deal of all time

In what is believed to be the third largest ecommerce acquisition deal of all time, Unilever is to buy internet startup Dollar Shave Club for $1bn.

Founded in 2011 and based in California, Dollar Shave Club operates a direct-to-consumer subscription model with three levels of membership:

  • The Humble Twin (two blades per razor, five razors per month, $3 per month)
  • The 4X (four blades, four razors, $6
  • The Executive (six blades, four razors, $9).

It has also branched out into shaving products and haircare products, and around 20% of its customers are women, although it markets itself predominantly at men.

Dollar Shave Club operates in the US, Canada, and Australia, and it is expected the post-acquisition business will expand into new territories. It achieved fame when, in 2012, its CEO Michael Dubin featured in a promotional video (called “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”) which eventually received over 22m views on YouTube and triggered 12,000 orders over a two-day period.

According to Forbes, Dollar Shave Club had raised over $160 million in venture capital funding, most recently last November at a $539 million valuation.

Co-founder and CEO Dubin said in a statement: “Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be happier to have the world’s most innovative and progressive consumer-product company in our corner.

“We have long admired Unilever’s purpose-driven business leadership and its category expertise is unmatched. We are excited to be part of the family.”