Rael, the feminine care brand based on Korean technology, has closed a $35 million series B funding round.
Colopl Next led the round and Signite Partners also contributed.
The brand initially started focusing on feminine care and sexual wellness, but has expanded into adjacent categories covering skin care and body care. “We want to take women through the entire hormonal cycle for four weeks,” said Yanghee Paik, cofounder and chief executive officer of Rael.
Paik said the brand had grown nearly eightfold year-over-year, but declined to specify the brand’s sales volume. Industry sources expect the brand to reach $100 million in sales for 2022.
The infusion will go toward recruiting talent, as well as distribution expansion, Paik said. Lauren Consiglio, a L’Oréal veteran, recently joined Rael as its president.
“It was the right timing to bring in a senior executive from the industry,” Paik said of the hire. “We’re looking to bring on even more talent to strengthen our team.”
The brand initially launched on Amazon, and quickly expanded to its own website, and is now available at Target and CVS Pharmacy. “With the capital, we’re really going to strengthen our retail business,” she said. “Now we have an omnichannel strategy, but our digital business is stronger than retail.”
The brand does well in Korea, where Paik, who is Korean American, sources technology. “From our Korean office, we’re looking to expand into other Asian markets, and from the U.S., we’re looking at Canada, as well as the EU,” she said.
“We want to get into China. That’s at the top and Asian women actually prefer pads over tampons, so it’s about 99 percent of the market,” Paik continued. “Japan is another market and also key for beauty. Southeast Asian countries also love K-beauty and Korean products.”
Playing to the brand and Paik’s heritage is a shift in strategy that’s paid off since its 2017 founding. “We wanted to position ourselves as a California brand, but as time passed by, we wanted to talk more about heritage,” she said. “The technology comes from the Korean market.”
The brand will also be expanding a lot within the skin care category, where it offers face masks and acne patches. “Our vision now is to call ourselves a holistic personal care brand for women,” Paik said. “We want women to find all the solutions they need throughout the hormonal cycle.”
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