Citrus Lane, a subscription e-commerce service that sends a box each month to a mom so that she can discover family-focused products and services, has raised $5.1 million in a new round of funding. This round comes from GGV Capital and previous investor Greylock Partners -- which brings the company funding to a total of $13.1 million.
The Mountain View-based company says that the new money will be used to expand Citrus Lane’s full-time staff of 14 employees and build out its technology.
Citrus Lane's subscription of $25 a month will send mommy a box filled with four to five hand-selected parent aids or products for babies ages 0-3 year old. Most Citrus Lane products also have a healthy, organize or green focus as well. I would say think Birchbox for the stroller-pushing demographic.
CEO and founder, Mauria Finley spoke at the first Mama Bear Tech Conference last week and shared some of the lessons her company has learned about being a stress free treat for parents so that they can discover useful items for themselves and their baby.
"Moms are extremely time-starved and we know that they want to see detailed pictures and don't want to read paragraphs of descriptions," Finley explained. "So we have edited the site so that it answers all of mommy's questions without being overwhelming."
One such area that Citrus Lane didn't realize was a stressing questions but later got feedback that it caused too much fret was the question of what age-range box to order. Since the products that the one-year-old company sends are catered to your baby's age, they offer 0-3 month boxes, 3-6 month (and so on). When moms were ordering, they were asked which age range box they would like to come in the mail and some moms were met with a dilemma -- do they want to order the box for the age of their child now or do they want to order one ahead so that they can plan for the future. It was a question that the company thought was simple but clearly dove too far into the parenting crossroads -- now Citrus Lane simply asks what the baby's birthday is.
"That is not a loaded question and every mom can answer that," Finley said.
The whole essence of Citrus Lane is that the company does the work, scouring the world for tried and tested great products and brings them right into your home for you to easily incorporate into your new routines.
Back in August, Birchbox raised $10.5 million in its Series A funding led by Accel Partners.
With two popular subscription models: those that who pay $10 per month and the ones who pay $110 per year.
Samples in Birchbox run the gamut, including makeup, skincare, fragrance, body, and hair products, and “are generously sized,” enough to see if they’re worth purchasing.
Birchbox itself selectively chooses which brands to include in its service, and, so far, over 70 brands have made the cut. Bvlgari, Redken, Stila and Tocca are just a few examples of the high-end fashion names that Birchbox members expect to see in their mailboxes each month.
In addition to the samples, members have the advantage of Birchbox.com, chock full of expert interviews, tutorials and media related to beauty. The site also serves as a retail outlet for the very products that members will be trying out. So, if someone likes a certain sample, they can head to Birchbox.com and purchase a full-size version.
While Citrus Lane is still a young company, the team behind the scenes is happy to say that the company revenue has doubled since January and shows a lot of potential under the leadership of Finley and co0founder Claire Hough who have had executive experience as companies such as eBay, PayPal and NexTag.