Anglo-Dutch food and consumer products giant Unilever on Wednesday said it had bought the Dollar Shave Club, a US start-up that has shaken up the market with its subscription model. Unilever did not disclose the price paid for the California-based company, but both Bloomberg News and Fortune magazine reported it was around $1 billion (910 million euros), or about five times its projected revenue this year.
Founded in 2012, Dollar Shave Club has quickly "grown into a full male grooming business that has transformed the shaving category with its lifestyle brand empowering 3.2 million members", said Unilever in a statement.
The company offered US men an alternative to increasingly expensive blades sold in stores with its subscriptions over the internet that delivered a month's worth of twin-blade razors for as little as $1 plus shipping.
Multi-blade models can be had for under $10 including shipping and the company now offers a range of men's personal care products. Dollar Shave Club will give Unilever a boost in the men's razor market. Although active in more than 190 countries with a stable of household brands, including Lipton tea and Knorr soups, Unilever has few in the men's personal care segment.
In fact Dollar Shave Club, although available only in the United States, Australia and Canada, already has a higher share of the global men's shaving market than Unilever, according to data from Euromonitor International.