NYC Online Shaving Startup Takes On The Big Blades



Online razor blade start-up Harry’s is looking to shave off a slice of the $6.1 billion market for men’s grooming products.

Jeff Raider, co-founder of eyeglasses company Warby Parker, and Andy Katz-Mayfield launched the venture in March 2013. The company makes and sells disposable razor blades for $2 or less, compared with about $4 for blades from leading brands such as Gillette and Schick.

“Harry’s was born out of a frustration of overpaying for razor blades,” Katz-Mayfield told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on recently.

The company has raised $136 million in capital and amassed more than 100,000 customers. Earlier this year, Harry’s vertically integrated its business by buying the German factory where its blades are made. It is now expanding its product line, launching shave gel and aftershave made with natural products.

While the company sells most of its products online, it also stocks selected partners such as J. Crew, Barneys and the Standard Hotel. Raider said the company wouldn’t immediately sell in drug stores because they typically lock up razor blades, which he called a pain point in the shopping experience.

“If we were ever going to go to retail, we’d want to make sure we did it in a way that is really pleasurable for customers and delivered the experience we’d want associated with our brand.”

Harry’s has gained attention as the official razor partner of the Movember Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for men’s health programs.

Founded in 2004, the group gained momentum on social media by challenging men to collect donations while growing out mustaches during the month of November.

“They’ve raised over $500 million to support men’s health issues like prostate cancer and men’s mental health,” said Raider. “We thought they were great guys, and as a shaving brand we wanted to do anything we could to help support them and their cause.”

Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by Juhan Sonin


About the author: Tom DiChristopher

Tom DiChristopher is a news associate for CNBC.

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