After a successful launch in Walmart stores last year, sexual wellness startup Cake is expanding its mainstream presence on Target.
The move is supported by a $2.5 million bridging round to bring the total funding to date to $8.3 million. Los Angeles-based Cake raised $4 million in funding last year while conducting its nationwide retail launch at Walmart.
New investors in the company this time include Bullish and Kendra Jackson, while Lerer Hippeau, who led the $4 million seed round, is back with more seed investors including Sugar Capital, Brand Foundry Ventures, Selva Ventures , Silas Capital and Gabby Slome , Brian Bordainick and Kate Wallman.
Cake co-founders Hunter Morris and Mitch Orkis met while working together at another brand and bonded over what they saw as an untapped opportunity for sexual wellness products.
“We’re definitely excited to add new and different products to this space so people have a new way of thinking about sexual wellbeing,” Morris told TechCrunch.
It really did hit a nerve with consumers, and between February 2021 and February 2022, Cake saw sales grow over 500%. Also, 40% of its customers make repeat purchases. Most of the company’s products, nearly 20, are available through Cake’s direct-to-consumer store.
The company offers lubes, condoms, massagers and enhancers, and between Walmart and Target, Cake products are now available in more than 5,000 stores. Four of its products are available from Walmart, including a self-playing toy for men called “Stroker” and three lubricants and lotions.
Target also has four products, the Stroker and the “So-low Lotion,” similar to Walmart, but then two new products, the “Vibrating Stroker” and the “Little Sucker.”
With launch, Cake implemented a color-coded experience, so products intended for specific purposes are now all the same colour, although the company also wants to encourage consumers to mix and match.
Cake isn’t the first product of its kind to be included in Target, but Orkis says the company brings knowledge and education about space to its products, which is unique.
“We’re going to be as fun-loving as possible because people learn best when they’re not embarrassed or embarrassed,” he added. “Our brand tone is very strong: ‘We learn ourselves and try our best, so help us learn, tell us what your concerns are and we will figure them out together in a safe and beautiful space.'”
The new funding gives Cake some cushion to meet inventory needs and marketing, continue to grow its team, and add new partners. They plan to double down on their retail efforts as they work to build an omnichannel presence that treats sex care as prevalent as it does skin care, Orkis said.
Intimate health is on the rise. Last month, the New York Times reported that Sephora added two new brands in this space to its offering list, joining others like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. Morris believes the more types of products that hit stores, the better for everyone.
“Each change is incredible for us and the brand, and each rising tide affects us all,” he added.