Dollar Shave Club

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Dollar Shave Club
IndustryConsumer packaged goods
FoundedJanuary 18, 2011; 11 years ago (2011-01-18)[1]
FoundersMichael Dubin
Mark Levine
HeadquartersVenice, California, U.S.
Area served
United States, Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom

Dollar Shave Club is an American company based in Venice, California, that delivers razors and other personal grooming products to customers by mail.[2] It delivers razor blades on a monthly basis and offers additional grooming products for home delivery.[3][4]


Dollar Shave Club was founded by Mark Levine and Michael Dubin. The pair met at a party and spoke of their frustrations with the cost of razor blades. With their own money and investments from start-up incubator Science Inc., they began operations in January 2011 and launched their website in April 2011.[5][6][7][8]

Dollar Shave Club was backed by a variety of venture capitalists. In March 2012, seed investors provided $1 million in funding from groups that included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Shasta Ventures, and others.[9] The same group, joined by Venrock, provided $9.8 million in series A funding in October 2012.[10] A year later, a $12 million series B round was raised led by Venrock, Comcast Ventures, New World Investors and Battery Ventures. Amidst the fundraising announcement, Dollar Shave Club announced it would be expanding its product line to include a dozen other men's products in 2014.[11] In June 2015, the company secured $75 million in series D funding.[12]

On July 19, 2016, Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for a reported $1 billion in cash.[13]


The initial welcome packet from Dollar Shave Club.
The initial welcome packet from Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club offers three membership plans, which can be upgraded or downgraded at any time.[14] The membership service first launched March 6, 2012, via a YouTube video that went viral.[15] The YouTube video attracted an unanticipated amount of traffic, which crashed the company's server in the first hour. Once Dubin got the server working, he enlisted a team of friends and contractors to help fulfill the 12,000 orders that arrived in the first 48 hours of launching the video. The orders were initially packed by hand in a warehouse in Gardena, California, before the company moved their warehouse and fulfillment to a third-party logistics center in Kentucky.[2]

As of 2016, the company has acquired 3.2 million subscribers.[16] Although the company primarily markets its products to men, approximately 20% of its customers are women.[17]


Dollar Shave Club offers three plans: "The Humble Twin" (two blades per razor, five razors per month, $4 per month), "The 4X" (four blades, four razors, $7) and "The Executive" (six blades, four razors, $10).[18] Each subscription comes with a compatible handle.

Most of the razor handles and blades are not made by Dollar Shave Club, but rather are re-sold Dorco products.[19][20]

The company also sells related accessories, such as shave butter,[21] wet wipes,[7] and moisturizer.[22]

In late 2012, the company launched its program in Canada and Australia.[23][24]

In 2015, the company expanded its product line to include hair care products, called "Boogie's".[25] The line includes hair gel, hair cream, hair paste, hair clay and hair fiber.[26]

In May 2015, the company began hiring writers and editors for a new website, Mel Magazine (stylized as MEL[27]) which went online in late 2015. The website contains editorial content described by the company as "men's lifestyle topics".[27][28] While the site does not host sponsored content, its business model "relies upon being a branded publisher", according to Fast Company.[29]

In December 2015, Gillette brand owner Procter & Gamble filed a patent infringement lawsuit that claimed Dollar Shave Club used its patented formulas to manufacture copycat blades.[30][31]

In February 2018, the company launched in the United Kingdom.[32]


On March 6, 2012, the company uploaded a YouTube video entitled "Our Blades Are F***ing Great" featuring CEO Michael Dubin, delivering his speech in a nonchalant and sarcastic manner.[33] The video prompted 12,000 orders in a two-day span after it was released, and has received over 27 million views as of November 2020.[3][34]

The video won "Best Out-of-Nowhere Video Campaign" at the 2012 Ad Age Viral Video Awards.[35] Dollar Shave Club was awarded a 2013 Webby Award in the Fashion & Beauty category [36] and earned the People's Choice Webby Award in the Consumer Packaged Goods category.[37]

On June 4, 2013, Dollar Shave Club released a second video on YouTube called "Let's Talk About #2", which again starred its CEO and promoted One Wipe Charlies.[7] The video won the Shorty Award in 2014 for best use of Social Media.[38]

In 2014, Dollar Shave Club and its One Wipe Charlies teamed up with the Colon Cancer Alliance in an effort to help "wipe out" colon cancer.[39] The company reports that during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month it reached 23 million people in spreading the message about the importance of getting screened. The company also donated $10,000 to the Colon Cancer Alliance, contributing a percentage of One Wipe Charlies' sales and putting a dollar value on social shares.[40] As part of the campaign, Michael Dubin had his own colonoscopy streamed live online.[41]


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  2. ^ a b Dahl, Darren (April 11, 2013). "Riding the Momentum Created by a Cheeky Video". The New York Times. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Naziri, Jessica (August 16, 2013). "Dollar Shave Club co-founder Michael Dubin had a smooth transition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  4. ^ "Man Trades Clothes for a Razor in Dollar Shave Club Spot". AdAge. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  5. ^ Glazer, Emily (2012-04-12). "A David and Gillette Story". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  6. ^ "Dollar Shave Club: A Start-Up's Viral Ad for 'F***ing Great' Razors Is a Big Hit". Time. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  7. ^ a b c Colao, J.J. "Dollar Shave Club: Breaking The Razor Blade Monopoly". Forbes. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  8. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "Jewish Buddies Who Founded Dollar Shave Club Cash In With $1B Unilever Deal" by Laura E. Adkins July 20, 2016
  9. ^ O'Dell, J. "Dollar Shave Club's blades are "so f*cking great" they just raised a round for 'em". Venture Beat. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  10. ^ Chapman, Lizette. "Dollar Shave Club Picks Up $10M to Grow Beyond Razors". Dow Jones. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  11. ^ Truong, Alex. "Dollar Shave Club Raises $12 Million to Offer More Grooming Products". Fast Company. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  12. ^ Dave, Paresh (June 22, 2015). "Up to 2 million members, Dollar Shave Club worth $615 million, investors say". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Unilever Buys Dollar Shave Club for $1 Billion". Fortune. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  14. ^ Sadasivam, Krishna. "Review: The Dollar Shave Club". The PC Weenies. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  15. ^ Janjigian, Robert. "Small beauty renegades make headway amid giants". Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  16. ^ Colvin, Geoff; Derousseau, Ryan. "Power Sheet: How P&G Missed Out on Dollar Shave Club's Rise". Fortune. Time Inc. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  17. ^ Stock, Kyle. "Dollar Shave Plots to Take Over Your Bathroom". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  18. ^ "Blades". Dollar Shave Club. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  19. ^ Pash, Adam (April 20, 2012). "Forget Dollar Shave Club; Buy the Same High Quality Razors for a Third of the Price". Lifehacker.
  20. ^ Wolff-Mann, Ethan (July 20, 2016). "Here's How to Buy Dollar Shave Club Razors for Less Money on Amazon". Time. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016.
  21. ^ Carney, Michael. "Not just razors anymore: Dollar Shave Club introduces wet wipes for your other sensitive areas". Pando Daily. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  22. ^ Neff, Jack. "Dollar Shave Club Goes 'Upscale' With $9 Moisturizer". Ad Age. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  23. ^ Mitroff, Sarah (November 2, 2012). "$10 Million Shave Club: Discount Razor Service Is a Hit With Investors". Wired. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  24. ^ Mitchell, Sue. "'Our wipes are f***ing great': How Dollar Shave Club's Michael Dubin plans to 'own the man in the bathroom' with $US12m in new funding". BRW. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  25. ^ Ha, Anthony. "Now Dollar Shave Club Sells Hair Gel, Too". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  26. ^ "Dollar Shave Club Adds Hair Care". Happi. 25 March 2015.
  27. ^ a b Perlberg, Steven (11 November 2015). "Dollar Shave Club Launches Men's Interest Editorial Destination Called 'MEL'". The Wall Street Journal.
  28. ^ Marshall, Jack; Perlberg, Steven (14 May 2015). "Mattress Company Hires Journalists". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  29. ^ Guthrie Weissman, Cale (15 August 2018). "Dollar Shave Club's men's magazine 'Mel' grows up". Fast Company.
  30. ^ Woolhouse, Megan (2015-12-18). "Gillette sues Dollar Shave Club for patent infringement". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  31. ^ Harwell, Drew (18 December 2015). "Gillette's lawsuit could tilt the battle for America's beards". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  32. ^ Williams-Grut, Oscar. "Dollar Shave Club is entering the cutthroat world of UK razors: 'We like competition'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  33. ^ Kaye, Kate. "Why YouTube Darling Dollar Shave Club Is Buying TV Ads". AdvertisingAge. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  34. ^ " - Our Blades Are F***ing Great". YouTube. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  35. ^ "Google Takes Top Honors at Viral Video Awards". Ad Age. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  36. ^ "Webby Awards: Fashion & Beauty". Webby Awards. 2013-05-22. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  37. ^ "Webby Awards: Consumer Packaged Goods". Webby Awards. 2013-05-22. Archived from the original on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  38. ^ "Best Use of Social Media for Retail or E-Commerce". Shorty Awards. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  39. ^ "Dollar Shave Club". Colon Cancer Alliance. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  40. ^ "We Reached 23 Million People!". Dollar Shave Club. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  41. ^ Neporent, Liz. "Man Live Tweets His Colonoscopy". ABC News. Retrieved May 1, 2014.

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