From their work with purpose-led start-up teams, BurdaPrincipal Investments have made some observations where social purpose provides start-ups with distinctive competitive advantages.
The Female Company – that’s Ann-Sophie Claus and Sinja Stadelmaier. The startup of the two Stuttgart-based founders follows a great mission: The Female Company aims to revolutionise the female healthcare market with products designed by women for women. As their first product, the founders offer organic tampons via a subscription-model. For do you know what your tampons are made of? Not surprising if you don’t, as tampon manufacturers do not have to label the ingredients of their products on the packaging. The Female Company creates transparency, relying solely on organic cotton grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. BurdaPrincipal Investments (BPI) believes in the vision of the two founders and is supporting the young company in a financing round alongside Angel Capital Management (ACM) from Italy.
From Startup Day'n'Nite to first investment
In January 2018, Ann-Sophie Claus and Sinja Stadelmaier pitched their idea at Burda’s Startup Day'n'Nite, a conference for young founders, and won against ten other startups. This is how Christian Teichmann, Managing Director BurdaPrincipal Investments, who was part of the jury, took notice of Ann-Sophie and Sinja for the first time. He was enthusiastic about the competence and ease with which the founders presented a topic that is traditionally considered a social taboo by many.
"We realised quickly that The Female Company is a promising start-up and that we definitely wanted to stay in touch with the two founders."
Christian Teichmann, Managing Director BurdaPrincipal Investments
"BPI and ACM from Italy, with whom we have co-invested in M.Gemi, Rockets of Awesome and Zilingo, have financed this first institutional round of The Female Company. We are delighted to add The Female Company to the strong range of women-led companies in our portfolio, alongside BaubleBar, M.Gemi, Notonthehighstreet, Rockets of Awesome, WaitWhat and Zilingo."
Benita Krahforst, Principal at BurdaPrincipal Investments
Celebrate your body!
The Female Company's concept is quite simple. The startup delivers organic tampons manufactured in Spain by mail via a subscription model. The organic cotton is grown without chemicals and pesticides under high social and ecological standards. The size mix of the tampons can be chosen individually, and the packaging is designed by different artists. Cheeky sayings are supposed to break the taboo. For each subscription, another woman is supplied with hygiene products in refugee homes.
Available in dm stores
The Female Company's tampons will be available not only as subscription but in over 900 German drugstores in the coming months.
"By working together with Dm-Drogerie Markt, we can significantly increase awareness of The Female Company and our products. With Burda, we have a strong partner on our side for the entry into the trade market and all further expansions. It’s great having them with us since one of our very first pitches.”
Ann-Sophie Claus, co-founder of The Female Company