Briar Keen

Briar Keen of Friction Free Shaving

Shaving start-up secures £1.25m investment

Birmingham-based Friction Free Shaving, the world’s first shaving subscription company for women, has successfully secured a seven-figure venture capital investment as it looks to continue growing.

The £1.25m investment from funds advised by Athene Capital, comes after prior investment by Seedrs and business angels, and is inclusive of a media partnership with Northern & Shell, which is designed to drive its ambitious growth plans.

A significant portion of the investment goes towards a comprehensive media campaign with Northern & Shell, whose media portfolio includes OK! Magazine, New! Magazine, Express and Star newspapers, together with access to multi-channel television advertising inventory.

Briar Keen, co-founder of Friction Free Shaving, said: “We are thrilled about this deal and have already seen some really encouraging results from our early activities with the Northern & Shell media team.

"With the ongoing support from Northern & Shell and Athene Capital we believe this investment will allow us to treble our subscriber numbers by the end of the year, and fulfil our mission to empower as many women as possible to get a fair deal when it comes to shaving.”

Richard Martin, group commercial director, Northern & Shell, added: “This media partnership outlines our ongoing initiative to support promising start-up businesses in the UK. We have been hugely impressed with the tenacity of the team at Friction Free Shaving and believe that by working with us and our extensive portfolio of media assets, they have a unique opportunity to disrupt the sizeable and growing women’s shaving market.”

Friction Free Shaving has experienced rapid growth since it launched its first set of products 18 months ago, and now records over 8000 actively monthly subscribers. The playful women’s brand follows in the footsteps of a number of successful male shaving subscription brands. The company aims to take a significant portion of the women’s shaving market, estimated to be worth several hundred million pounds in the UK alone.

The company, which is based in the West Midlands, aims to challenge the limited choice and quality of female shaving products currently available on the high street, by providing a more hygienic, convenient and affordable alternative. The business posts high quality women’s shavers and replacement blades through the letterbox each month in return for a subscription, which starts at £5. It has also launched a highly popular women’s shave cream.

Friction Free Shaving’s rapid growth has been supported by office space and mail fulfilment expertise supplied by Mailcoms Ltd, which is owned by the company’s co-founder Des McManus. The business has also been supported by the UK’s largest free business accelerator, Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest, in Birmingham City Centre since August 2015.