How we use Cookies

OK! owner teams up with West Midlands shaving company

Northern and Shell signs media deal as part of new funding agreement with Friction Free Shaving

Friction Free Shaving's co-founder Briar Keen
Friction Free Shaving's co-founder Briar Keen

The owner of OK! magazine and the Daily Express newspaper is working with a West Midlands manufacturer of women's shaving products as part of a new funding deal.

Friction Free Shaving has secured a new investment of £1.25 million, a significant portion of which will go towards a media campaign with Northern & Shell whose titles also include magazines New! and Star and the Daily Star newspaper.

The company makes products such as shavers and creams and then distributes them from a base in Cannock to homes via a monthly subscription model.

It claims to be the world's first shaving subscription company for women.

Friction Free Shaving, whose products are manufactured in China and the US, launched its first range 18 months ago and now has more than 8,000 subscribers.

The company says it is aiming to take a significant portion of the women's shaving market, estimated to be worth several hundred million pounds in the UK alone, by challenging what it calls "the limited choice and quality" of female shaving products currently available on the high street.

It wants to provide a more hygienic, convenient and affordable alternative.

The firm has also been supported since 2015 by business accelerator programme Entrepreneurial Spark which is supported by NatWest at its offices in Birmingham city centre.

The new £1.25 million investment comes from funds advised by Athene Capital.

Friction Free Shaving's co-founder Briar Keen said: "We are thrilled about this deal and have already seen some really encouraging results from our early activities with the Northern & Shell media team.

"With the ongoing support from Northern & Shell and Athene Capital we believe this investment will allow us to treble our subscriber numbers by the end of the year and fulfil our mission to empower as many women as possible to get a fair deal when it comes to shaving."

Lloyd Thomas, managing partner of Athene Capital, added: "The management team at Friction Free Shaving have identified a huge and untapped opportunity in the market of women's shaving subscriptions.

"We are very confident in their ability to drive rapid growth and are excited to be backing them."

Richard Martin, group commercial director with Northern & Shell, said: "This media partnership outlines our ongoing initiative to support promising start-up businesses in the UK.

"We have been hugely impressed with the tenacity of the team at Friction Free Shaving and believe that by working with us and our extensive portfolio of media assets, they have a unique opportunity to disrupt the sizeable and growing women's shaving market."

Law firms MJ Hudson and Taylor Wessing advised on the deal.

Comments

Journalists

Graeme Brown
Editor (Agenda and Business)
Enda Mullen
Business Reporter
Tamlyn Jones
Business Reporter
Neil Elkes
Local Government Correspondent
Emma McKinney
Education Correspondent
Ben Hurst
News Editor
Jonathan Walker
Political Editor