25 High Growth DTC Startups to Watch in 2021

by Josh Howarth - May 7, 2021

Direct-to-consumer sales in the US are forecasted to reach $129.31 billion in 2021.

(That’s a 68.35% increase since 2019.)

And further growth in the eCommerce space is expected in the coming years.

We’ve prepared a list of 25 growing DTC startups to keep an eye on, based on our search growth data (and VC funding). Continue reading to learn more about companies driving the DTC industry forward.

1. Misfits Market

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5-year search growth: 7000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Delanco, NJ

Funding: $101.M (Series B)

What they do: Misfits Market is a subscription box service for organic produce. The company sources fruits and vegetables that do not meet retail standards (specifically, those with an irregular shape). The startup claims that this approach helps fight food and allows for produce prices that are lower than those found in grocery stores.

2. Gousto

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5-year search growth: 1116%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $211.3M (Series Unknown)

What they do:

Gousto is a meal kit delivery company. Customers can choose from a menu that contains more than 50 recipes a week. The company reached 5 million monthly meal deliveries in 2020, a 2x increase over the previous year.

3. The Farmer’s Dog

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5-year search growth: 2800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $103.1M (Series C)

What they do: The Farmer’s Dog is a fresh pet food delivery service. Meals are personalized based on a survey that the pet owner takes during the onboarding process. The service claims to have delivered over 100 million meals to date.

4. Elvie

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5-year search growth: 473%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $53.8M (Series B)

What they do: Elvie develops health tech products for women. The startup products ranging from breastfeeding solutions and a pelvic floor exerciser. Elvie’s products are smartphone-connected to enable remote control and tracking features.

5. Oura

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5-year search growth: 2500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Oulu, Finland

Funding: $48.3M (Series B)

What they do: Oura is a wearable ring that tracks health-related metrics. During the day, it measures activity levels, calories, and naps. During sleep, the ring monitors heart rate, body temperature, and overall sleep quality. Different from regular fitness trackers, the compact device weighs under 0.21 ounces (6 grams) and has a battery life of up to 1 week.

6. Bloom & Wild

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5-year search growth: 266%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $130.29M (Series D)

What they do: Bloom & Wild is a flower delivery service. The company currently ships to 5 European countries. Flowers arrive in bud form to ensure freshness, and their unique packaging allows flowers to be delivered inside of a mailbox.

7. Misen

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5-year search growth: 210%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Funding: $6.9M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Misen sells knives and cookware online. Misen’s kitchen tools are positioned as premium but priced lower than many premium kitchen brands. All products come with a 60-day trial and lifetime guarantee.

8. Lovevery

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5-year search growth: 2500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Boise, ID

Funding: $26M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Lovevery delivers educational toys for babies and toddlers. Its flagship product (The Play Kits) is a subscription service that ships curated game kits every 2-3 months. The company claims to have over 125,000 active subscribers for its core offering alone.

9. Trinny London

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5-year search growth: 99x+%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $198.79M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Trinny London is a DTC beauty brand specialized in makeup. The company’s makeup range includes 27 products with multiple shade options for each. The eCommerce-focused brand also offers hybrid formulations of skincare, makeup, and accessories.

10. Function of Beauty

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5-year search growth: 5900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $162.2M (Series B)

What they do: Function of Beauty provides personalized hair, body, and skincare products. Formulations are based on a personalized quiz that covers the customer’s hair type, scalp moisture, and hair goals. All products are vegan and certified cruelty-free.

11. Athletic Brewing

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5-year search growth: 7900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Stratford, CT

Funding: $21.4M (Series B)

What they do: Athletic Brewing is a brand of non-alcoholic craft beer. The company’s product line includes 6 styles of beer, including IPA and lager. The brand also recently expanded into the seltzer category.

12. Hungryroot

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5-year search growth: 4700%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $35.4M (Series B)

What they do: Hungryroot is a grocery subscription service. Customers have an onboarding quiz about their eating habits and dietary restrictions. Then, the website suggests recommendations for a grocery plan. Hungroot only sources products free of artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives. All groceries are delivered with accompanying recipes.

13. Wyze

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5-year search growth: 7200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Kirkland, WA

Funding: $45M (Series A)

What they do: Wyze develops consumer electronics. The company’s products include smart cameras, connected home products, and health gadgets. The DTC brand targets the mass-market segment with affordable prices.

14. Hero Cosmetics

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5-year search growth: 1183%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Kirkland, WA

Funding: $45M (Series A)

What they do: Hero Cosmetics offers products for acne treatment. Their skincare line includes hydrocolloid patches and items for daily skin maintenance. Besides their DTC channel, Hero Cosmetics has expanded its retail presence with partnerships with Target, CVS, and other retailers.

15. Rowing Blazers

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5-year search growth: 2633%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $3.3M (Seed)

What they do: Rowing Blazers is an American fashion brand. Initially started as a menswear label, the brand has expanded into the womenswear category. Apparel designs are “reinvented classics” with streetwear influence. The company has a track record of partnerships and collaborations with well-known brands, like the NBA.

16. Nutrafol

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5-year search growth: 2600%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $35M (Series B)

What they do: Nutrafol manufactures supplements for hair growth and thickness. Their various supplement formulas are categorized by gender. Nutrafol also offers supplement duos, which include add-ons designed to aid in specific root causes of hair loss (like gut health ad stress relief).

17. By Humankind

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5-year search growth: 950%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2018

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $7.95M (Series Unknown)

What they do: By Humankind develops sustainable personal care products known for low levels of plastic and refillable alternatives. The startup’s product range includes most hygiene essentials, from toothpaste to deodorant. Toothpaste tables are shipped in a refillable glass container (with extra tables available in compostable pouches).

18. Splendid Spoon

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5-year search growth: 3200%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $7.76M (Series A)

What they do: Splendid Spoon is a subscription service of ready-to-eat plant-based meals. The menu includes smoothies, bowls, soups, and wellness shots. Their smoothies do not contain added sugar.

19. YFood

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5-year search growth: 3600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $21.24M (Series B)

What they do: YFood creates meal replacement products. The current product portfolio includes 3 types of meal replacements: ready-to-drink meals, powders, and bars. Drinks have balanced macronutrient content with 33g protein in each 16.9 oz serving. YFood claims that each meal replacement satisfies hunger for up to 5 hours.

20. Prose

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $25M (Series B)

What they do: Prose sells custom hair care products. The brand offers customizable formulas for its 8 core products along with a supplement line for hair growth and scalp health.

21. Magic Spoon

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5-year search growth: 3200%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $14.5M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Magic Spoon makes keto-friendly breakfast cereal. Each serving contains 13-14 grams of protein and contains up to 15 grams of carbohydrates. The brand currently has 6 flavors, from fruity to cinnamon.

22. Versed

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5-year search growth: 8900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Funding: $11.6M (Series A)

What they do: Versed is a vegan skincare brand. Their product catalog includes 42 SKUs including those specifically designed to reduce dryness and visible signs of aging. The company uses non-toxic ingredients in its products and is cruelty-free.

23. Jüsto

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Mexico, Mexico

Funding: $92M (Series A)

What they do: Jüsto is an online grocery store. The company operates without retail intermediaries and works with suppliers directly. The delivery service currently only has coverage within select areas in Mexico.

24. Pair Eyewear

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5-year search growth: 4700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $13.5M (Series A)

What they do: Pair Eyewear is a DTC eyewear brand focused on glases for kids. What differentiates them from something like Warby Parker is the high level of customization available. In addition to traditional VC funding, the brand also got a deal from "Shark" Lori Greiner on Shark Tank.

25. Little Sleepies

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5-year search growth: 6600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Funding: Unfunded

What they do: Little Sleepies sells sleepwear for babies, kids, and adults. The fabric is made of bamboo viscose, giving it a soft texture. Little Sleepies product line includes pajamas for newborns all the way up to 14-year-old kids. The brand also has a handful of family sets with adult sizing options.

Conclusion

That completes our list of 25 growing direct to consumer brands.

From skincare to meal replacements, DTC startups excel at creating great products in their niche. And getting directly in front of their target audience. With ongoing Ecommerce adoption across the world, we can expect more direct-to-consumer brands to launch in the future.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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