New venture from Hubble founders: Willow launches to deliver stylish and affordable disposable underwear directly to consumers' doors
NEW YORK, July 31, 2018
NEW YORK, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Willow Founder & CEO, Will Herlands, has teamed up with the Hubble founders (Ben Cogan and Jesse Horwitz) to bring a superior product and customer experience to the underserved $8B incontinence market. Willow's disposable underwear offers comfort, confidence, and leak-free protection, delivered discreetly to consumers' doors at a fraction of the price of current market options.
In 2014, Founder and CEO Will Herlands began working on his dual PhD in Machine Learning and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon. In 2017, after consulting with the Hubble team, they saw that the incontinence market was an obvious place where massive improvements could be made both to the existing products and the uncomfortable shopping experience. Herlands and the Hubble co-founders were inspired to apply the successful Hubble business model to a product geared towards the oft-overlooked Baby Boomer and Gen X groups.
"In recent years there have been a lot of compelling brands to enter the world of ecommerce. After working with Hubble, I began thinking about the other aspects of consumer care that had been left behind in the wake of direct-to-consumer products," says Cogan. Herlands adds, "we want Willow to bring all the convenience and cost benefits of a direct-to-consumer business to a demographic and product category that hasn't been focused on in other brands ecommerce efforts."
The adult incontinence market is a $4B industry in the United States, with approximately 25M people in the US having some form of incontinence. The US incontinence market has seen 7% annual growth with 14% annual growth of US ecommerce for incontinence. Currently, most incontinence sales are through in-store purchases. With Baby Boomers spending more online than Millennials and Gen X as the most active online shoppers, there is a vastly underserved market of consumers who would purchase incontinence products online.
"It was really important to us to make Willow easy and accessible to order through D2C because for many people suffering from incontinence, it can be very difficult to leave the house to go purchase disposable underwear," says Herlands. "Beyond simplicity and convenience, we also wanted consumers to experience a beautifully designed product, website, and brand experience."
Willow will ship directly to customers doors with the option to customize their colors, size, and frequency of delivery. 30% of Willow's products are made of natural fibers, and the product is the slimmest on the market, which also reduces the shipping and packaging impact. The packaging is fully recycled, and as small as possible.
Willow has raised a Seed round of $2.5M from investors led by FirstMark Capital, Founders Fund, Two River and Wildcat Venture Partners (Hubble's investors). The company has offices in both Boston and New York. Willow's Medical Advisory Team includes Dr. Tanaka Dune, urogynecologist at Weill Cornell specializing in incontinence management, and Dr. Jamie Wright, Director of Neurourology and Chief of Urology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Willow is stylish affordable disposable underwear that offers comfort, confidence, and leak-free protection, delivered discreetly to your door at a fraction of the price.
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