FLEX and CVS Join Forces; Nextdoor Raise USD$47m

Flex & CVS join forces

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: FLEX and CVS join forces; Nextdoor raise USD$47m; and Airbnb backs Atlas Obscura. 

FLEX and CVS join forces

In a joint effort to innovate for period health, retail giant CVS and direct-to-consumer brand, FLEX, are partnering to bring comfortable, high-performance, eco-friendly period products to shoppers in over 5,000 CVS stores nationwide.

According to recent June 2019 syndicated retail sales data, traditional tampon unit sales are down 4.3% year over year across drug retailers. Category growth is being driven by alternative period products, including innovation led by FLEX in cups and discs.

With changing consumer attitudes and behaviours toward alternative period products, retailers like CVS are starting to recognise the gap in physical distribution and are taking swift action to meet the growing demand by consumers.

The Flex Company launched its first period product, the FLEX Disc, in late 2016. It quickly developed a devoted and engaged consumer following and has grown to be a top performing direct-to-consumer brand.

FLEX has quadrupled its business over the past two years and continues to experience dramatic growth with its DTC channel still generating more than half of company revenue. With this partnership, CVS has the opportunity to bring in a younger, passionate demographic of consumers into their stores every month.

Nextdoor raise USD$47m

Nextdoor, the popular social network for neighbours, has announced that it has raised USD$47m (£38m) in funding from Mary Meeker’s Bond, rounding out a previously announced growth round at USD$170m (£138m).

Today’s financing brings Nextdoor’s total raised to USD$455.2m (£368.6m) since its inception, according to its Crunchbase profile.

In a world where so many people are glued to their devices, Nextdoor is a startup that has found a way to use technology to try and help people feel a sense of community. The San Francisco-based company aims to connect people who live in the same, or nearby, neighbourhoods together by creating a forum for them to communicate digitally. Its presence has grown over time and currently, people in over 247,000 neighbourhoods in ten countries are using the platform. 

The company makes money from a combination of sponsored posts as well as a real estate vertical that allows agents to brand themselves as local experts in the neighbourhood.

Airbnb backs Atlas Obscura

Airbnb and Atlas Obscura are joining forces to offer a slate of new off-the-beaten-track travel options. The Brooklyn-based company announced today a USD$20m Series B financing round led by Airbnb. A+E Networks and New Atlantic Ventures are other major investors.

Some of the new offerings include Kingdoms of Andalucía (eight days in Seville, Spain), Vietnam’s Most Delicious Dishes (nine days in Hanoi, Vietnam), the Chicago Underground Scavenger Hunt, and the two-hour Cemetery Spirits & Stories: Brave Women in Washington, D.C.

According to Atlas Obscura, trips usually have a dozen or fewer participants and usually start around $1,300. Experiences tend to be capped at 10 people and go for about $20-$60.

“Atlas Obscura has excelled at providing the kind of unique and memorable experiences that travellers are seeking and this partnership will make our companies and our community even stronger,” said Airbnb vice president and head of experiences Joe Zadeh.

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