Smol, a British eco-homecare brand, has raised £24m to expand into international markets
smol has announced as a part of it's third anniversary that it has helped consumers save over 1,000 tonnes of chemicals, 350 tonnes of plastic, and 10 tonnes of animal fats. Smol has raised about €27.9 million in Series B funding led by Eight Roads Ventures with involvement from Google Ventures, Latitude, and current partners Balderton and Jam Jar to finance further product growth and business expansion.
smol was created in 2018 by Paula Quazi and Nick Green (both ex-Unilever), two consumer product specialists, with the aim of supplying consumers with a healthier solution for their homecare needs. “We want to bridge the divide between big brand products that focus on affordability and efficacy, and smaller eco-friendly brands that are more expensive and less effective,” said co-founder Paula Quazi. The team was able to develop a product line that is sustainable, inexpensive, and reliable, all distributed to customers' homes based on their individual consumption preferences, by rethinking each aspect of the manufacturing chain and delivering directly to consumers.
Starting with laundry capsules, the brand has since grown to include fabric conditioner, dishwashing tablets, surface sprays, and, most recently, hand sanitiser. Many of the products have a smaller carbon footprint, less chemical additives, and are vegan and cruelty-free. The laundry capsules and dishwash tablets are packaged in a world-first 100 percent plastic-free, recyclable or compostable bag. Unlike other major labels, the fabric conditioner contains no animal fat and is packaged in 100 percent recycled plastic bottles that can be recycled or returned to the business for re-use. Customers get cleaning tablets that dissolve in warm water, avoiding the need for fresh plastic bottles and reducing the shipping footprint. The surface spray bottles are also made of recycled plastic and are refillable for life.
The strategy is working: smol's goods have won several awards, including "BBC Good Food's Best All-Round Dishwasher Tablet," and they have more five-star ratings than any other homecare brand in the UK on platforms like Feefo and Trustpilot. Customers have saved over 1,000 tonnes of chemicals, 350 tonnes of plastic, and 10 tonnes of animal fats as a result of the company's commitment to sustainability.
The pandemic has boosted demand for smol's goods, which are popular due to their easy home delivery and environmentally friendly approach. “The last year has further increased consumers’ awareness of the ecological impact our everyday actions have, and the role younger brands can have in making a positive difference,” said co-founder Nick Green, pointing to a recent Brandbean study that showed over 80% of consumers switching brands or products last year in order to be more eco-friendly, and trusting smaller brands to offer better eco-friendly products.
The additional funds would enable the company to continue developing new products and expanding into new European markets. Michael Treskow, Partner at Eight Roads Ventures commented, “The stagnant household care market is finally getting a long-overdue shake-up, with smol making sustainability and convenience the norm rather than the exception. We are excited to support smol’s ambitious mission to help consumers make a positive environmental impact in a convenient and affordable manner.”