Blueland raises more money to avoid carrying water and reduce single-use plastics – TechCrunch

Startups

The cleaning products you use in your house are 99% water. Yes, the same stuff that comes out of the tap at your house. Radical thinking that the municipal water system is likely a better way to transport water, Blueland just raised $20 million to expand its successful line of cleaning products in tablet form, in an effort to eradicate single-use plastics and put an end to the folly of transporting water from factory to shop and from shop to home.

Launched in 2019, the brand was the first to bring the tablet form factor to market for a range of cleaning products that promise to avoid single-use plastics forever. Since its inception, the company has collected (and filed for) 40 patents and is continuing its rapid growth trajectory. The company grew more than 400% in the past year and saw an 80% increase in Customer Lifetime Value (LTV), driven largely by a broadening of its product lines.

The new $20 million funding round was led by Prelude Growth Partners, a consumer brand company. To date, the company has raised $35 million from a veritable who’s-who of industry insiders and celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Adrian Grenier, Jennifer Fleiss (Rent the Runway), Nicolas Jammet (Sweetgreen), Nick Green (Thrive Market ) and others .

“Looking back to when we first started working on the company, my co-founder John and I were on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic packaging. It was never really about cleaning products. We explored a wide variety of possible categories and sizes in which to start. At that time there was so much skepticism”, laughs Sarah Paiji Yoo, co-founder and CEO of Blueland.”I feel like I’ve had 20 investors in a row tell me that nobody cares about eco – and that people aren’t going to change their behavior for the planet.”

The company is bending its eco credentials loudly; it is a certified B Corporation and is certified carbon neutral – an impressive achievement for a company that has also shipped more than 10 million products and expanded its customer base to more than 1 million members. It calculates that it has already prevented a billion plastic bottles from ending up in landfills.

“Blueland’s high-quality products coupled with its mission to eliminate single-use plastics has led to unparalleled consumer love in the cleaning category. The brand is one of the fastest growing in its industry, with exceptional demand and extremely strong loyalty,” said Alicia Sontag, co-founder and managing partner at Prelude Growth Partners. “We are excited to partner with Sarah and John as they continue to build Blueland into an iconic powerhouse brand.”

Sarah Paiji Yoo and John Mascari, co-founders of Blueland. Image: delivered by Blueland

The company had to make some major investments in technology along the way; While most consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies use a contract manufacturer and rely on them for their formulations, Blueland had to take a different path because they couldn’t find anyone who could work to their specifications.

“At first we didn’t want to formulate everything ourselves, but we didn’t have the luxury of using a contract manufacturer. When we realized that cleaning sprays are 90% water, we decided there was no point in taking a traditional approach. We went to all these cleaning companies – more than a dozen of them – and they all looked at us like we had three heads; like we were stupid,” Yoo recalls. “They didn’t have tablet machines; most of their ingredients come to them as liquids, and they weren’t able to make what we needed. That led to a wild goose hunt. We spoke to everyone from candy makers to vitamin makers to find out if the dry format folks could help us with this. It emerged from those conversations that we had to formulate our own product. Neither my co-founder nor myself are chemists, but we were able to bring in the director of formulation for Method, one of the largest natural cleansing brands in the world. There’s a lot to be proud of: we’re the first to bring the tablet form factor to market for a range of cleaning products, from hand soaps to spray cleaners to laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. This has enabled us to become the leading cleaning brand that uses no single-use plastics in all our products.

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