Goldman Sex ?
Start-ups that seek to introduce consumers to new products have been a steady theme in the rise of online shopping. Now so-called discovery commerce companies are circling a new market: sex toys.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that it’s easy to see the logic. Revenue at brick-and-mortar stores that specialize in sex paraphernalia was about $610m in 2013, according to research firm IBISWorld. Sex toys are widely available on such mainstream Internet retailers as Amazon.com - for shoppers who know what they’re looking for. Those who need a little more coaching and are too shy to walk into a store might be drawn to a service such as Boink Boutique, which sends subscribers a preselected box of sex toys, lubricants, and other adult items on a monthly basis.
The shy-curious may also be interested in AHAnoir, a new website from AHAlife. Founded in 2010 by former Goldman Sachs analyst Shauna Mei, AHAlife sends members recommendations on boutique items that include clothing, cosmetics, and furniture selected by bold-faced names including Donna Karan, Daniel Boulud, and Wendi Murdoch.
The company has raised about $21m in funding and counts more than a million members who have signed up to shop on the site or get e-mails about new offerings.
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