Myro has found investors in Serena Williams and Carmelo Anthony. The tennis legend and the basketball star have invested in the gender-neutral refillable deodorant brand through their respective venture capital firms Serena Ventures and Melo7 Tech Partners with Stuart Goldfarb.
The investment is part of a $7 million seed-extension funding round that includes Western Technology Investment.
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“I’m always trying to find the next big thing, and refillable deodorant just feels relevant to the time we’re living in. With the way the world is now, it’s so important to invest in sustainable brands doing positive things,” said Anthony. “I treat every decision I make as the biggest decision of my life, so being deliberate about working with brands that align with my personal values is really important to me.”
Founded by Greg Laptevsky in 2017, Myro is a direct-to-consumer, gluten-free and vegan deodorant that can be refilled with new deodorant pods. Refillable cases and deodorant pods are available in five colors and scents that retail for $10. A subscription service delivers packs of three refill pods quarterly for $10 each as well.
Each deodorant is made with about 50 percent less plastic than traditional deodorant brands, and is a custom blend of 100 percent natural fragrance. Anthony said he is a fan of Open Air scent, which is unscented, and uses the “flame-red case, because red is my color.”
“We thought this was the right time to disrupt the category and give daily routines their due,” said Myro chief executive officer Laptevsky. Born and raised in Russia, Laptevsky moved to New York in 2005 and spent over 10 years of his marketing career in the wine and automobile industries, as well as the food industry at meal kit service company Plated, where he led the customer acquisition function.
“In looking holistically at the deodorant category, things have been very stagnant,” he said. “When it comes to body-care products, our customers set the bar high, so we had to deliver on all fronts. With high-end, yet environmentally friendly packaging, elevated, gender-inclusive scents, and a unique direct-to-consumer model, we aim to raise the bar higher.”
Myro, which means “essence” in Greek, raised $2 million in seed funding in September 2018 from Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Obvious Ventures and Lakehouse Ventures. The brand had a waiting list of 16,000 people at launch and has sold 500,000 units since its launch in September 2018.
Williams started her venture capital firm in 2014 and has invested in companies such as department store Neighborhood Goods, direct-to-consumer bridal company Floravere, Billie and Retail Zipline, among others, and Anthony founded Melo7 Tech Partners in 2013 and invested in Walker & Company, a health and beauty company for people of color, and Casper to name a few.