The sharp minds behind razor blade subscription commerce company Mornin’ Glory are ready to take it public.
The online service, launched today from Berlin with funding from business angels including Christophe Maire, allows European men to sign up for a monthly package of replacement blade cartridges Its main competitors will be Gillette, which holds 80 per cent of the market in Europe, and P&G-owned Wilkinson, sitting at about 10 per cent.
As the company’s pitch puts it:
A German man spends, on average, almost half a year of his life shaving – not counting the time wasted at the supermarket shopping for blades. Men, who shave daily, spend so much money that they could buy a car with it.
According to Mornin’ Glory, European men spend about €2.6billion per year on razors and blades – more than on any other grooming product – but only about three per cent of purchases currently take place online.
How they’ll get – and keep – a slice of the action
Mornin’ Glory founders Fabio Paltenghi and Nicolas Stoetter started working on the concept full-time in July 2012. The pair met by chance in New York – Paltenghi, a former UBS vice president, and Stoetter, a young entrepreneur who’d previously worked on Adidas’ $1 shoe project in Bangladesh.
What makes them think they’ll be able to take market share from Gillette and keep it? Even assuming European men develop an appetite for subscription shaving, there’s little to stop the big players starting similar services.
“They could, but there’s a reason they haven’t,” Stoetter said. In marketing razor blades as high-tech (3-blade, 5-blade, maybe even 7-blade), he suggested, the big players have missed the chance to compete on affordability.
Mornin’ Glory aims to deliver top-quality blades at a fair price, for those open to a non-mainstream brand. There are two options – a 3-blade (€5 for two or €7 for four replacement blade cartridges per month) or a 5-blade (€6 or €9). The handles come free with the first shipment and shipping is free throughout Europe.
“No Pain, No Stain” – the magic’s in the marketing
The name Mornin’ Glory is a nod to a gentleman’s occasional early-morning erection; the packaging contains such excellent puns as “Razablanca” and “No Pain, No Stain”.
Over in the US, the similarly irreverent Dollar Shave Club has already attracted financing from top VCs Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz. Online shaving store RazWar in Belgium offers a bulk subscription – a one-year supply in one delivery – for between €42.60 and €127.90.
Will subscription shaving prove its worth in the long-run? The Economist isn’t convinced. We say, with careful, coherent branding (think Warby Parker), it’s worth a try.
Featured image credit: Flickr user Dane Khy
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