Buena Park-based Rael Inc. closed a $35 million Series B investment last month, bringing its total funding to $59 million for the personal care startup since its founding in 2017.
The funding represents the largest amount raised in the U.S. feminine care category to date, according to Rael, which was founded by Chief Executive Yanghee Paik, author Aness An and architect Binna Won.
Rael aims to provide healthy and effective menstruation care products and solutions as an alternative to conventional brands. All its products are manufactured in South Korea.
“We started Rael with a mission to improve women’s wellness by leveraging novel technology from Korea, bringing organic, high-performing, comfortable products to the marketplace,” Paik said in a statement.
The funding round was led by venture capital firms Colopl Next in Japan and Signite Partners in South Korea. Other investors include Aarden Partners, ST Capital, Mirae Asset and Unilever Ventures.
Holistic Care, Alternatives
Rael refers to itself as a wellness company offering all aspects of feminine care, from clean period products to skincare.
It also sells body washes, acne treatments, and heating patches for care during a woman’s cycle.
The brand advertises the use of organic cotton and clean ingredients in its products; best-selling items online include cotton pads and pantyliners.
The organic sanitary napkins global market grew 6.2% year-over-year in 2022, according to a report by Technavio in February.
The report lists Rael as one of the top players in the market, in part due to its access to retail and internet distribution channels in North America, identified as a key region for the industry.
Rael will use the Series B funding across its operations, including product development in South Korea, retail collaborations, marketing and global expansion plans.
Rael is currently available in 19 countries with plans to reach 12 new countries as demand grows.
South Korea remains a top marketplace for Rael as “the organic category represents over 30% of the total feminine care market in comparison to less than 10% in the United States,” officials said.
Last month, the company named Lauren Consiglio as president with over 20 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. Consiglio will lead Rael’s retail growth and direct-to-consumer business in the U.S. as the firm aims to strengthen its position as a lead player in holistic wellness care.
She previously worked as a senior marketing executive at Unilever Prestige and L’Oréal.
Rael products can be found online and in major retail stores. The company became Amazon’s highest–rated brand in the pads category within three months of its initial launch with more than 1 million units sold.
Products first hit Target shelves in 2019 as its first brick-and-mortar distribution expansion. Rael has since expanded to Walmart, Walgreens and CVS.
The brand continues to scout new retail partnership opportunities.
“Ultimately, we want to become a global household brand and believe our new investors will be very helpful in accelerating our global expansion, especially in Asia,” Park said.