Beauty & Balance

Dakota Johnson Invests in Maude

Sexual wellness brand Maude has garnered star power — and star investment.

The two-year-old company has received $2.2 million of additional seed financing, bringing its total seed financing to $3.7 million and total funding to $4.2 million. The latest round was led by Cassius, with participation from True, Outbound Ventures, Vice Ventures and Patina Brands.

“We were growing too fast,” Éva Goicochea, founder and chief executive officer of Maude, told WWD via a phone interview. “We can’t keep up with growth, we can’t keep inventory in stock. And we needed to grow the team and have the capacity to keep going.”

Maude also received angel investment from actress Dakota Johnson, Benjamin Millepied, Steven Alan and Cédric Aumonier.

Additionally, Johnson has joined the brand as a co-creative director. In a statement shared with WWD, Johnson said Maude’s ethos is “symbiotic with my core beliefs surrounding sexual health.”

“Sexual wellness is a fundamental human right,” Johnson said. “Furthermore, the caliber and aesthetic of these products is excellent and elevated, and I love them.”

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As co-creative director, Johnson will focus on incorporating sustainability initiatives “into the fabric of the company, while delivering beautiful and quality sexual wellness products, accessible to all humans,” she said.

Maude’s business has doubled in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a surge in sexual wellness products. Since the onset of COVID-19, the company has received more than 22,000 pre-orders for its best-selling vibrator, which retails for $45.

Goicochea said content is driving sales for Maude, which has also seen a shift from consumers buying its products after work hours to all times of the day.

“Before COVID-19, we were seeing that people would shop online after work. Now we see a general consistency because they’re home,” Goicochea said.

Maude’s retail business has grown another 5 percent to 15 percent overall, and the company is expanding retail partnerships. It just launched in Madewell as the retailer’s only sexual wellness brand. Next year, Maude will launch in Nordstrom.

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