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For Them announced $2 million in pre-seed funding as it launches its first two products for the queer community: a breathable binder and multi-use intimacy serum.
Chloe Freeman, an actor, producer and entrepreneur started the company last year after completing an entrepreneur-in-residence program at pre-hype. They previously founded a production company, Boycott Entertainment, that raised more than $1 million to date for underrepresented creators
Freeman, a queer, non-binary person of color, told TechCrunch they didn’t see any wellness products that spoke to them or their peers, but rather to the majority of cisgender people.
“As someone who didn’t fit that bucket, I went looking for my unique wellness product,” they said. “I wanted to dig in and see how to change the narrative.”
That was particularly true with For Them’s first product, a chest binder to help reduce gender dysphoria. Freeman asked peers about their experiences and then went out and bought all of the binders they could find and “was shocked” at how uncomfortable the binders were — the itchy fabric and the synthetic materials — and aimed to make a better one, they said.
The investment was led by Resolute Ventures and includes Yes VC, Animo Ventures, Gaingels Spark Fund and a group of over 10 individual investors including Toyin Ajayi, co-founder and president of Cityblock Health; Lindsay Ullman, co-founder of Umbrella; Ashley Mayer, former Glossier executive; and Jackie Rice, co-founder, Tribe AI.
The new funding will be used to create additional products, to continue building its community and for talent acquisition. Freeman intends to create an equally diverse team as the community For Them aims to serve.
“This is a huge opportunity to work with an underserved community that needs products that speak to them,” Freeman added.
In addition to the binder and Fluid intimacy serum, which has CBD oil, they intend to build two or three additional products. The company’s product pipeline will be community-driven. Freeman’s strategy is to gather ideas from For Them’s community and produce what they need. The community sits on Discord currently, which Freeman said provides anonymity, especially when speaking about personal problems.
For Them has 800 people on the waiting list for the binder, which Freeman said was deliberate so that the company was able to adequately serve them within the next month. Once the company makes it through that list, more customers will be able to purchase products.
Melanie Travis, founder of swimwear company Andie Swim, is one of For Them’s advisors and board members and said now was a “great time to be starting something” and is looking forward to seeing what works and what the company can create.
At this stage, Travis said investment is mostly about the founder and finds Freeman to be “ a smart, remarkable person who is passionate about the purpose and the category.”
“Sometimes founders come up against a brick wall, and you are looking at the founder’s ability to just bust through that brick wall, and I saw all of that in Chloe,” she added.
Startups – TechCrunch
eCommerce, Funding, Fundings & Exits, Recent Funding, Startups, TC, Andie Swim, Animo Ventures, Chloe Freeman, entrepreneurship, Fashion, For Them, Gaingels Spark Fund, Melanie Travis, resolute ventures, wellness, Yes VC