Rael gathers $2.1 mln

Southern California-based Rael, a menstrual care startup, has secured $2.1 million in funding. SoftBank Ventures Korea led the round with participation from other investors that included Thrive Market.


BUENA PARK, CA May 15, 2018 – Rael, a menstrual care startup dedicated to educating and empowering women with healthy period products that don’t sacrifice comfort or performance, announced today its closing of a $2.1M pre-Series A funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, a SoftBank Group early stage venture capital arm, followed by a group of noteworthy firms and investors including Thrive Market, the leading e-commerce platform for affordable natural and organic products.

Launched in 2017, Rael is led by three female co-founders: Aness An, a journalist and bestselling author; Binna Won, an architect-turned-art-director; and Yanghee Paik, a former distributor at The Walt Disney Studios with a Harvard MBA. Frustrated by the lack of healthy, comfortable and high-performing menstrual care products on the market, the trio successfully created their own solution.

“Despite knowing what types of products we personally wanted in our own lives, we weren’t certain if there was an actual need for this new type of feminine care,” said Yanghee Paik, Co-Founder and CEO at Rael. “So, after months of research and development, we conducted an initial test on Amazon. The response was overwhelming. We became an Amazon Bestseller within a few months. Women started writing in, sharing their stories, thanking us for creating organic pads that actually worked. In that moment, our vision for Rael was affirmed.”

Nearly a year from launch, Rael continues to expand its offering, which now includes pads, pantyliners and biodegradable tampons made with 100% certified organic cotton, as well as period underwear, facial sheet masks and cleansing washes and wipes.

With success on Amazon, various e-retailers and its own e-commerce site (GetRael.com), Rael grabbed the attention of noteworthy venture capital firms and investors.

“Aness, Binna and Yanghee are visionary leaders who value women’s personal development and happiness,” said Edward Chung, Principal at SoftBank Ventures Korea. “This vision helps them lead an amazing team and build trusted products. For the past year, the founding team has strived to meet the product-market fit promptly and have thus gained a sterling reputation from customers. I believe they have established a solid foundation to build a strong brand in the organic product category.”

Rael’s funding round also includes a strategic investment from Thrive Market Ventures, the venture investment arm of Thrive Market.

“We’re especially impressed with the founding team, who have quickly built a community of loyal customers around their differentiated line of products,” said Nick Green, Founder and CEO at Thrive Market. “For years, customers have been looking for an effective and affordable feminine care line that uses only clean ingredients. The Rael team has built a beautiful brand around exactly that.”

Rael plans to use these investments to improve product, grow its team and expand the company overseas.

The menstrual care startup’s products are already available to purchase in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and South Korea.

“We’re excited to partner with investors like SoftBank Ventures Korea and Thrive Market, whose visions align with ours—offering innovative and healthy products at approachable price points while providing the resources women need to make safe and educated decisions for their bodies,” continued Paik.

“Half of the world’s population is female, and the average woman experiences menstruation once a month for forty to fifty years. Conventional period products absorb well but are full of toxic chemicals. On the other hand, natural alternatives are healthy but remain unreliable. We created Rael so women don’t have to sacrifice one or the other.”

Rael has previously raised seed financing from investors including Spigen, an Amazon Top 5 Seller; BAM Ventures by Brian Lee, Co-Founder at The Honest Company; Strong Ventures, a seed fund based in California; and Primer, a startup accelerator in South Korea.
About Rael
Rael is a southern California-based menstrual care and feminine wellness company that provides comfortable, high-quality products made of natural and organic ingredients. Led by three female co-founders, the company’s vision is to empower and inform women around the world with safe and healthy alternatives to the toxic conventional products normalized in the feminine care industry. Since launching in 2017, the company has attracted investment from industry leaders including Spigen, BAM Ventures, Strong Ventures, SoftBank Ventures Korea and Thrive Market Ventures, among others.

Already a bestseller on Amazon, Rael products are also available to shop on GetRael.com as well as select online and offline retailers, including iHerb and Walmart.com. To date, Rael’s expansive product offering is available in seven countries and includes pads, pantyliners and biodegradable tampons made with 100% certified organic cotton in addition to period underwear, facial sheet masks and cleansing washes and wipes. For more information, please visit www.getrael.com.

About SoftBank Ventures
Established in 2000, SoftBank Ventures Korea is the only global early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group based in Seoul, Korea. SoftBank Ventures Korea invests in start-ups with a strong potential in Asia, the U.S., Israel, and the EU, focusing on AI, IoT, and smart robotics industry. To date, Softbank Ventures Korea has invested US$432 million across 230 start-up companies.

About Thrive Market Ventures
Thrive Market Ventures (TMV) is the venture investment arm of Thrive Market, a membership e-commerce platform on a mission to make the world’s highest quality natural and organic products affordable for every American family. For $60 per year, Thrive Market members get access to their favorite natural snacks, supplements, home, beauty, and baby products at 30–50% of retail, shipped direct to their door for free. Each paid membership on the site also sponsors a free membership for a low-income family. Since 2015 Thrive has brought over 340 Thrive Market Collection products to market, and in 2018 launched Thrive Market Meat and Seafood.