Do you find yourself having too many perfumes or not enough? If you have too many you can’t stand the mess, and if you have too little you’ve become predictable. A little time with Scentbird and $14.95 a month can change that. A graduate of ER Accelerator, Scentbird, is on demand subscription service for perfume and cologne that keeps your fragrance collection fresh each and every month with a new thrilling scent delivered to your door form a selection of over 450 choices.
Today, CEO Mariya Nurislamova joins us to discuss the company’s latest funding as well as how Scentbird is a win-win for customers and brands who understand the value of how you smell.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Scentbird is announcing an additional $2.8 million in seed funding, bringing our total to funding $3.8 million. Investors in this round include: Eclipse Ventures, Vaizra Investments, Ludlow Ventures, FundersClub, Scrum Ventures, SGH Capital, Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), Michael Seibel (SocialCam), Tikhon Bernstam (Parse), and Philip Krim (Casper).
Tell us about your product or service.
Scentbird is a subscription service for perfumes and colognes where consumers get a deluxe sample of the fragrance of their choice for $14.95 per month.
What inspired you to start the company?
Born out of frustration with the “perfume graveyard” – expensive bottles of designer fragrances collecting dust on your dresser or cabinet – Scentbird was created for the pickiest girl (or boy), allowing you the chance to “date” luxury fragrances before “marrying” them.
How is it different?
- Customer-Driven: unlike other subscription boxes where discovery is “serendipitous” our members get to pick the fragrance they want each month
- TruScent Recommender: Our algorithm of over 500K authentic reviews by real consumers allows you to find the perfect match for your fragrance preferences.
- Targeted: Consumers who subscribe to Scentbird are specifically interested in Fragrance
- “Evergreen” awareness: Scentbird creates continuous exposure for the brand. By being on the platform, consumers continue to interact with the brand (vs. just being featured for one month)
- Community Engagement: Peer to peer recommendations have a huge impact on which fragrances our members select to try
- Actionable insight: Consumers specifically request a specific brand, so we can pinpoint which consumers are interested in which brands and why
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
The fragrance category in the US is $14B (2x the size of blades & razors), $46B globally.
What’s your business model?
We are a subscription model, but are also expanding our revenue streams via e-commerce and a la carte offerings, as well as brand partnerships.
How has your experience going through ERA impacted the trajectory of the company?
ERA was instrumental in getting us to think hard about our business and pushing us to find the product-market fit. We pivoted 2 weeks before ERA’s demo day and it was the best decision for our business.
What was the funding process like?
It has been very organic, we were lucky to get early supporters that “got” our concept and got the ball rolling.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The fragrance category is complex and not always easily understood by investors. Distribution channels are multi-tiered, and consumer behavior for millennials has evolved.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Investors were interested in seeing traction with a clear path to growth and profitability.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Continue to focus on growth.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Focus on growth- showing traction is the most important metric startups can show if they plan on raising capital.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We will continue to drive number of subscribers on the site as well as building up our additional product offerings. We are also constantly upgrading the digital and product experience to provide an even more valuable service to our customers.
What’s your favorite rooftop bar in NYC to unwind?
We love Jimmy at the James hotel – it has a nice ambiance and delicious cocktails. The music is not too loud, so it a perfect spot for conversations – whether business or personal.