Eight Roads Ventures Europe invests in 'smol' and leads the $34 million Series B round in the UK’s fastest-growing homecare brand
smol marks its third anniversary by announcing that it today powers 10 million washes per month across the UK, and has helped customers save more than 1,000 tonnes of chemicals, 350 tonnes of plastic, and 10 tonnes of animal fats. To support further product development and market expansion, smol has raised $34 million in Series B funding led by Eight Roads Ventures with participation from Google Ventures, Latitude, and existing investors Balderton and Jam Jar.
smol was founded in 2018 by two consumer product experts, Paula Quazi and Nick Green (both ex Unilever), with the goal of providing customers with a better alternative 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. By rethinking each part of the production process and selling directly to consumers, the team was able to create a product range that is sustainable, affordable, and effective, all delivered to consumers’ homes based on their individual usage patterns.
The company started with laundry capsules and has since expanded to fabric conditioner, dishwash tablets, surface sprays, and most recently hand sanitiser. All products are manufactured with a lower carbon footprint, have reduced levels of added chemicals, and are vegan and free from animal cruelty. Laundry capsules and dishwash tablets come in a world-first 100% plastic-free pack which is 100% recyclable or compostable. The fabric conditioner is free from animal fat (unlike most big brands) and comes in bottles made with 100% recycled plastic that can be recycled or returned to the company for re-use. The surface spray bottles also use recycled plastic and are refillable for life – customers receive cleaning tablets that dissolve in warm water, eliminating the need for new plastic bottles and reducing the shipping footprint.
The new capital will allow the company to continue investing in new product development and expansion into other 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.”
smol’s products have received numerous awards such as ‘BBC Good Food’s Best All-Round Dishwasher Tablet’, and they have received more five star reviews than any other homecare brand in the UK across customer review sites like Feefo and Trustpilot. And the company’s focus on sustainability has helped customers save more than 1,000 tonnes of chemicals, 350 tonnes of plastic, and 10 tonnes of animal fats.
The pandemic has further increased the demand for smol’s products, driven by their convenient home delivery and sustainable 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.