Dogs, Kids, Coffee, Undies: There’s a Subscription Startup for That

birchbox man Dogs, Kids, Coffee, Undies: Theres a Subscription Startup for That

The elusive Birchbox Man.

Entrepreneurs and investors are bullish on delivery. Shoedazzle may be the original delivery gangster, and the L.A.-based company launched in 2009. But it seems that it’s as of very recently that subscription services became the new black; or at least the new flash sale or the new daily deal. Birchbox, the startup that sends subscribers a curated box of cosmetic goodies every month, raised a $10.5 million series A last year led by Accel Partners and has been growing like a patch of weeds, claiming 45,000 paying subscribers in June

Paid customers are a rare breed in the world of internet startups. And although the model has its doubters, as every new business gimmick does, subscription services are taking off in a big way. Investors are running around saying, “Birchbox is printing money!” one source told Betabeat, imagining that if it works for makeup, it could work for other things. How many times have you read the headline “It’s BirchBox for ____” in the last year?

Just in New York, GuyHaus ships toiletries,  and Elizabeth & Clarke mails subscribers three perfect white shirts. BarkBox, Meetup co-founder Matt Meeker’s new startup, just raised $100,000 from angel investors in order to deliver monthly doggie treats and toys; CraftCoffee sends monthly tasting boxes.

Outside the U.S., Shoes4You is a Brazilian shoe subscription service that also has Accel as an investorFacekitt is a Singaporean Birchbox knockoff. Kopi in the U.K. mails you coffee. All three launched in 2011.

There’s also:

Conscious Box. “A monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care for the plane just like you.”

Lost Crates. “A curated monthly subscription service for lovers of high-end stationery, pens, notebooks and desk accessories.”

Blissmo. “Over 125k shoppers in all 50 states discover premium, no/low toxin, organic and eco products via our flash-sales, monthly theme boxes, and office snack boxes.”

Love With Food. “A monthly subscription service (launched in Dec 2011) that delivers a box of unique and hard-to-find gourmet samples to your door.”

BabbaCo. “Monthly subscription activity boxes for kids.”

Dollar Shave Club. “Awesome razors sent right to your door for a few bucks a month.”

Bespoke Post. “Bespoke Post is a curated product subscription service for guys. Members receive a Box of Awesome using a combination of their personality profile and our curators. Each box is filled with guy stuff from emerging brands: a whiskey set, a shaving kit, meat, and more.”

Ybuy. “Netflix + Shoedazzle for gadgets. Ybuy lets you try the best products for $24.95 a month.”

Manpacks. “Manly goods. On a schedule.”

The Next Web has a good rundown of subscription services.


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  2. Lauren says:

    And then there’s, for craft, bean-to-bar chocolate. I’d say it’s a great product for chocolate lovers and even as a gift. About to sign my boyfriend up :)