So what do you do?
I work in SexTech.
A few years ago, that was the most common answer I received. It still is, but now, more and more times I get a “wow that’s super cool”. And I'm so proud.
I guess the huge buzz surrounding, and media coverage of, ‘Women of Sex Tech’ in the past year in the likes of Forbes, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Next Web and almost all magazines is starting to bear fruit. Even Adweek recently touched on our market stating that “you can use sex to sell anything, except if it’s women’s pleasure”. It’s (sadly) true. We still have to fight against restrictive policies which allow advertisements of men’s sexual health products, but not females. But things are finally changing!
The investment world has started to see SexTech, female founders, and women’s sexual wellness as the big opportunity that it is.
A $122bn market by 2026
Today, the sexual wellness market is valued at $40bn, and it sees a 6.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Historically, it’s a market that has been left in the shadows, except for some very well known products targeting men, such as Viagra, or safe sex products like condoms. In the past 8 years, the increasing awareness about sexual rights, especially among women, has driven the market share growth of SexTech. The focus has finally shifted to consider the whole spectrum of needs, including women’s. The market is expected to reach $122bn by 2026, of which, the Female Sex Toys market is expected to grow at almost 11% CAGR - today it’s worth $12bn.
It’s a fragmented market
Like most emerging markets, it is still quite fragmented, giving many opportunities for growth. The shift in consumer interests, expectations, and acceptability of sexual wellness products in mainstream markets is creating new opportunities. In the past 8 years, the number of luxury SexTech brands has grown by 88% (and that’s only the luxury ones!). Product demand is high - the top five countries in the EU for sex toys are Denmark, Sweden, Greenland, USA, and the UK - and sex toys are dominating the sexual wellness market, accounting for close to 65% of the total market share.
Distribution Channels opportunity
Resistance from big online retailers to sexual wellness products is one of the last great frontiers for growth in the market, as Forbes recently stated. Online sales are projected to increase by over 20% YOY by 2022, yet distribution systems are still inadequate compared to the market growth, especially those specialising in the high-end market. There was no “John Lewis” of SexTech, until we, at Pureeros, decided to create one.
Millennials and Gen Z are pro sexual rights
Our society is currently seeing a big cultural shift which is positioning women’s pleasure and sexuality as a necessity, not a luxury, as demonstrated by movements such as the Women’s March and the MeToo and TimeIsUp campaigns. Gen Z and Millennials are driving social acceptance for all women, and in doing so are educating a future primary target audience for our business.
It’s a recession proof-market
Sexuality is at the core of what it means to be human. Without a doubt, no matter the direction of trends, we will always experience our sexuality, protect ourselves from STIs or unwanted pregnancy, and will be seeking for pleasure. It’s at the core of human nature. Even in a country like Italy, which has been considered to be in recession for several years, SexTech market is one of the few that saw a 6.4% YOY growth.
If you want to support female founders who are truly disrupting a market, while also generating a positive social impact, SexTech is your answer. Women are the most vocal advocates for the investment potential of the market, and so have become the sector’s natural leaders. Most of the women working in SexTech, like myself, are members of the Women of SexTech community; a tech-savvy and female-led women’s sexuality movement that has made its home in New York. Most of the members are under 40 and cover a multitude of industries from Art & Entertainment to Education to Business & Technology.
BigData and Tech
Technology plays a key role in our lives, and sexuality makes no exception. The use of smart devices in intimacy is something new and extremely valuable. Privacy and data management are, therefore, at the core of most sextech companies, which are developing secure systems and transparent policies around data management. However, the use of high-tech devices allows companies to collect extremely valuable data about consumer preferences and their health, which can open a totally new frontier for big data that was previously inaccessible.
Last but not least, especially from an investor perspective, exits and gains. In the last three years, SexTech investors have seen some interesting deals. Amorelie, a German sex toy e-commerce company, has been valued at €34m after only three years of trading and was acquired by ProSiebenSat, now part of NuCom Group. Telmos Capital has acquired a majority share in Lovehoney, a UK leader in the mass sex toys market, which reached £100m in sales in 2017 alone. Elvie, the UK leader in Kegel Floor training devices and breastfeeding pumps, announced two weeks ago a $42 million Series B funding round led by IPGL. In addition, several large companies merged (such as Womanizer Group and Standard Innovation Corporation), and many new startups have been founded.
Traditionally, crowdfunding platforms, as well as other methods of funding, have been closed to our industry, but now Evren Inangiray and I, co-founders of Pureeros, have opened up the doors for you to invest in SexTech with our crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said:"It is exciting to see emerging companies like Pureeros overthrowing taboos in a traditionally fragmented market. We're proud to play a part in driving awareness of the growing sexual wellness sector and give investors the opportunity to have a stake in its success."
You can find out more and invest in Pureeros by visiting their pitch page.
Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.