The global sexual wellness market is estimated to grow to a staggering $39B by 2024. One of the emerging brands tackling this space is Cake, the direct-to-consumer sexual wellness startup that offers high-quality, safe, non-toxic products to help people explore their sexuality and pleasure in the bedroom. Cake’s primary mission is to create all-inclusive, high-quality products that can work for people of all identities and sexualities. By launching a line of lubricants with cheeky names like “motion lotion” and “toy joy” Cake hopes to eliminate the awkwardness associated with the discussion of sex and sex products. Pricing for Cake’s line starts at $22-$24 and a set starts at $60.
LA TechWatch spoke with CEO and Cofounder Hunter Morris to learn more about Cake’s mission, the difficulties that come with raising capital for a taboo topic, and the company’s future expansion plans. Morris was previously the COO of Watch Gang, a subscription service watch club.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Cake raised $1.435M in Seed funding from Brian Spaly (cofounder of Trunk Club & Bonobos), Roth Martin (cofounder of Rothy’s), Brand Foundry Ventures, and Finn Capital, and others.
Tell us about the product or service Cake offers.
Cake is a wellness company for the sexually active that offers the highest quality products tailored to anyone’s preferences in bed. By listening to customers with varying sexual preferences, identities, pronouns, and anatomies, Cake provides the most inclusive and highest quality product offerings for an enhanced sexual experience. Cake hopes to normalize sexual exploration and be an ally for individuals when they’re ready to take the next step with their partners or themselves.
We’re starting with lubricants because it’s an affordable, accessible, and transformative product for any sexual experience. It’s a great starting place for couples or individuals to try something new or enhance current sexual activity. All of our products are alcohol-free, paraben-free, dye-free, sulfate-free and have no added fragrance, and are specifically formulated based on anatomy and what provides them with the most pleasure.
I was chatting with (my now co-founder) Mitch Orkis about sex and sexual wellness, and we realized there weren’t any brands that spoke to him or myself. As a gay man, Mitch expressed how beneficial products like lubricants were, but how there just weren’t any on the market that stood out as the best. As a straight man, I knew about sexual wellness products like lubricants, but found that the current offerings were confusing, outdated, and intimidating. As we began to talk to our network about their sex lives and preferences, it became clear to us that there was an opportunity to offer something better.
How is Cake different?
We believe people should have products tailor-made to their personal sexual preferences and activities. For example, someone trying butt play for the first time should not reach for the traditional lube they use for penis or vaginal play. More so than ever before, people are hyper-connected and aware of our own identities – being served with a mass brand w/ mass distribution is no longer relevant. It was important for us to provide a clear direction on who each product is for and for what type of play, so our products are illustrated with how-to guides. We ultimately wanted to create a brand that’s fun and approachable for those looking to enhance their sex life.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
The global sexual wellness market is expected to reach $39B by 2024. Our target audience isn’t interested in the confusing and lackluster selection of sex products at their drugstore – some of which were created in the early 1900s – or from a tacky and vulgar sex site. Rather, they are concerned about the quality of the ingredients that are being put on and inside their bodies. We serve customers who have a curiosity for newness in the bedroom and are inclusive of any type of anatomy and sexual preference.
What’s your business model?
At launch, Cake offers products direct-to-consumer.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
Fortunately, we had been working on building our brand and creating products before the country shut down. However, once that occurred, we had to maneuver launching a brand remotely. Launching during a pandemic comes with a lot of unknowns, but I am so grateful to our incredibly talented and hardworking team that has been working tirelessly to get this off the ground. It seems that a sexual wellness brand is actually very timely – now more than ever, it’s important for couples and individuals to create intimate and pleasurable experiences – exploring their sexuality in safe and healthy ways. This is a time for people to get to know each other or themselves on a deeper and more passionate level.
What was the funding process like?
At first, the idea of a sexual wellness brand scared a lot of the more traditional investors, but the more we met with different investors the more we started to find people that believed in our mission. We got pretty adept at being able to tell if investors would be a good fit by bringing up sex within the first few minutes. If they tended to squirm, we tended to wrap rather quickly. If they leaned in and started asking detailed questions, we knew we likely had a partner and investor.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The category unfortunately is still considered rather taboo.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Sexual wellness is an important pillar of the wellness category, and the market is filled with brands offering a “one size fits all” model. Cake’s mission of inclusivity has set it apart from competitors and allowed investors to understand the value of the brand.
Cake’s mission of inclusivity has set it apart from competitors and allowed investors to understand the value of the brand.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Cake is excited to expand its offerings to launch new sexual wellness products in the next six months. More to come!
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
My advice would be to network constantly, and to continue to evolve your products. Cake originally launched with a different name and brand, which allowed us to understand the demand for high-quality sexual wellness products.
My advice would be to network constantly, and to continue to evolve your products.
We partnered with experts in the industry and pitched hard to convince our investors that there was a white space that needed to be filled.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
In the near term, Cake will continue expanding its offerings to provide individuals with products to fit every sexual need and preference.
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?
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