MyMuse Is Changing India’s Perception Towards Sexual Wellness

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SUMMARY

Founded in 2021 by Sahil Gupta and Anushka Gupta, My Muse offers a range of intimate wellness products, including massage oils, stress relief massagers, toys and games for couples

What just started as a pet project for the cofounders, when they were looking to spread awareness around sexual wellness, raked in INR 15 Cr in revenues in FY23, up 6.6X YoY

My Muse locks horns with Bold Care, Sassiest, The Sangya Project, Love Treats and the ilk in the Indian sexual wellness market expected to become a $2.09 Bn market opportunity by 2030

Despite wearing the crown of being the most populous country in the world, we (Indians) often fight shy of talking about intimacy or anything closely associated with it, including wellness.

However, as the times are a-changin’, increasing globalisation has seemingly convinced many of us to keep an open mind about the topic, which has long been considered taboo.

Consequently, recurring conversations around the subject have gained impetus and the country’s sexual wellness market appears to be now yawning in the lap of Indians who seek freedom from the shackles of social stigma surrounding sex to cater to their naughtiest desires.

The aforementioned statements can be substantiated by the fact that the Indian sexual wellness market generated $1.15 Bn in 2020 and is expected to become a $2.09 Bn market opportunity by 2030.

Notably, long commanding the reins of this space have been legacy players like Mankind, Durex, and Skore, among others; however, they have been too careful in treading in India due to its cultural and social fabric.

Upping the ante in the paradigm of the country’s intimate products market now are the homegrown startups, which appear to be pushing denizens out of their comfort zones to experiment with a range of unconventional products to experience the pinnacle of pleasure.

One such name that has recently emerged in this paradigm is MyMuse. Founded in 2021 by Sahil Gupta and Anushka Gupta, the startup offers a range of intimate wellness products, including massage oils, stress relief massagers, toys and games for couples. 

What just started as a pet project for the cofounders, when they were looking to spread awareness around sexual wellness, raked in INR 15 Cr in revenues in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23), up 6.6X year-on-year (YoY). According to the cofounders, despite witnessing explosive growth in the last couple of years, they have barely scratched the growth surface. 

Locking horns with startups like Bold Care, Sassiest, The Sangya Project, and Love Treats, the intimate wellness brand caters to a monthly customer base of 1.5 Lakh individuals across India. 

Notably, the startup is backed by names like Trifecta Capital, CRED’s founder Kunal Shah, Saama Capital, Sauce VC, Whiteboard Capital, Licious’ Varun Sadana, and Mohit and Malika Sadaani of The Mom’s Co. These investors have cumulatively infused INR 32.36 Cr in the business. 

How MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual WellnessHow MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual Wellness

Breaking Taboo: The Birth Of MyMuse

Although MuMuse was officially incorporated in 2021, the seeds of its inception were sown three years before that when the cofounders met through their common friends.

Both Sahil and Anushka clicked instantly upon knowing that they come from the same line of work — marketing. While Sahil was working for a Hong Kong-based pharma company, Joint Force, Anushka was a former WeWork India employee with a degree in psychology.

“At the time both of us were looking to take the entrepreneurial plunge. Fortunately, we noticed a big gap — While the medical industry had evolved, mental and sexual wellness was stagnant. To address this, we initially started a content platform to provide information on sexual education to people,” the cofounders told Inc42. 

However, soon they realised that mere content influencing strategy wouldn’t be enough to change the country’s idea of intimacy and sexual wellness. This was because people’s perception of such products was linked to shady-looking back alley stores or websites on the dark web.

To challenge this, the cofounders decided to leverage their expertise in the areas of content dissemination, marketing, and mental health to build a sustainable brand.

“When we started MyMuse, we intended to create a brand that could help users enhance the experience of physical intimacy. We also wanted to normalise the discourse around it,” one of the cofounders (Anushka) said. 

While the cofounders may not have been completely successful in changing the mindsets of a larger section of Indian society, they believe that they are reaching there.

“In this journey, we are also combating social stigma that embraces some of our products, including intimate massagers,” the cofounders said.  

The duo also told Inc42 that before launching the startup they conducted surveys for nine months to gauge the level of taboo that existed in India regarding sexual wellness products. To their surprise, many individuals said that they were open to using these products if they had tasteful packaging and messaging.  

“Marketing shapes society’s perceptions, and the Indian sex industry has struggled with stigma. For MyMuse, we have moved away from that image. Our brand messaging, packaging, promotional content, and website focus on delight,” the cofounders said.

How MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual WellnessHow MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual Wellness

MyMuse’s Wellness Stack 

After refining branding, the cofounders launched their first product, a massage oil, in June 2021. Following this, the startup expanded its sexual wellness offerings to include an oil-based candle, a lubricant, and a “massager” within a year.

Initially, the company targeted women aged 25-35. However, they soon realised their audience was equally split between men and women. To cater to this broader demographic, MyMuse expanded its product line to include more oils and lubes, card games, and swipes, among other items.

The cofounders have a unique approach to incorporating new products into the startup’s product folio. Elaborating on this, Sahil said they hold a Shark Tank-like in-house competition among their employees every now and then. This initiative encourages employees to develop exciting product ideas, pitches, designs, and marketing and go-to-market strategies. The startup has been able to come up with several of its products with this strategy.

Moving on, the cofounders said that a key component of their product development is a beta testing community of about 250 users who provide pre-launch feedback. Sahil said that these inputs are crucial for educating customers and differentiating their products in the market. 

“We feel that without a content commerce angle, a D2C startup won’t work in the long run. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make sure that decision paralysis around products is avoided. It becomes critical for us to inform the potential customers exactly what differentiates us from others. With the knowledge gained from our beta testing group, we fine-tune our content strategies and products to stand out from the competition,” he added.  

Meanwhile, the cofounders told Inc42 that they are looking to limit their SKUs to 25 products to assuage its users from getting “decision paralysis”. The cofounders aren’t looking at new introductions anytime soon. 

MyMuse’s Future Roadmap

Currently, MyMuse’s biggest peeve is its expenses. Notably, the company procures its products from outside India and spends a fortune on packaging and marketing efforts.

This is the reason why it incurred a loss of INR 2.41 Cr despite generating INR 14.90 Cr in FY23. Of its total revenues earned during the fiscal, the startup’s expenses stood at INR 17.34 Cr, up 561% YoY.

While the company was able to grow its revenues 6.6X from FY22’s INR 1.97 Cr, its expenses stood at a mere INR 2.62 Cr during the fiscal.

Meanwhile, according to the cofounders, the company achieved profitability in the final months of FY24, helped by a significant rise in revenues in the corresponding period a year ago.

Sahil attributes the rise in revenues to the company’s focus on being gender agnostic. The company is now looking to enter the couples category. 

“While solo play has been the focus of the rest of our competitors, we are looking to go beyond this and address the needs of couples. The decision stems from the fact that couples can purchase together and if they like how it feels they have a much higher chance of becoming recurring customers,” the cofounder said. 

For now, the startup continues to tread carefully under the country’s obscenity laws. While there is no explicit law in India that bans or regulates the sale of intimate wellness products, the company will need to practise caution while advertising and creating promotional content surrounding its product stack.

[Edited by Shishir Prasher]





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Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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MyMuse Is Changing India’s Perception Towards Sexual Wellness


SUMMARY

Founded in 2021 by Sahil Gupta and Anushka Gupta, My Muse offers a range of intimate wellness products, including massage oils, stress relief massagers, toys and games for couples

What just started as a pet project for the cofounders, when they were looking to spread awareness around sexual wellness, raked in INR 15 Cr in revenues in FY23, up 6.6X YoY

My Muse locks horns with Bold Care, Sassiest, The Sangya Project, Love Treats and the ilk in the Indian sexual wellness market expected to become a $2.09 Bn market opportunity by 2030

Despite wearing the crown of being the most populous country in the world, we (Indians) often fight shy of talking about intimacy or anything closely associated with it, including wellness.

However, as the times are a-changin’, increasing globalisation has seemingly convinced many of us to keep an open mind about the topic, which has long been considered taboo.

Consequently, recurring conversations around the subject have gained impetus and the country’s sexual wellness market appears to be now yawning in the lap of Indians who seek freedom from the shackles of social stigma surrounding sex to cater to their naughtiest desires.

The aforementioned statements can be substantiated by the fact that the Indian sexual wellness market generated $1.15 Bn in 2020 and is expected to become a $2.09 Bn market opportunity by 2030.

Notably, long commanding the reins of this space have been legacy players like Mankind, Durex, and Skore, among others; however, they have been too careful in treading in India due to its cultural and social fabric.

Upping the ante in the paradigm of the country’s intimate products market now are the homegrown startups, which appear to be pushing denizens out of their comfort zones to experiment with a range of unconventional products to experience the pinnacle of pleasure.

One such name that has recently emerged in this paradigm is MyMuse. Founded in 2021 by Sahil Gupta and Anushka Gupta, the startup offers a range of intimate wellness products, including massage oils, stress relief massagers, toys and games for couples. 

What just started as a pet project for the cofounders, when they were looking to spread awareness around sexual wellness, raked in INR 15 Cr in revenues in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23), up 6.6X year-on-year (YoY). According to the cofounders, despite witnessing explosive growth in the last couple of years, they have barely scratched the growth surface. 

Locking horns with startups like Bold Care, Sassiest, The Sangya Project, and Love Treats, the intimate wellness brand caters to a monthly customer base of 1.5 Lakh individuals across India. 

Notably, the startup is backed by names like Trifecta Capital, CRED’s founder Kunal Shah, Saama Capital, Sauce VC, Whiteboard Capital, Licious’ Varun Sadana, and Mohit and Malika Sadaani of The Mom’s Co. These investors have cumulatively infused INR 32.36 Cr in the business. 

How MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual WellnessHow MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual Wellness

Breaking Taboo: The Birth Of MyMuse

Although MuMuse was officially incorporated in 2021, the seeds of its inception were sown three years before that when the cofounders met through their common friends.

Both Sahil and Anushka clicked instantly upon knowing that they come from the same line of work — marketing. While Sahil was working for a Hong Kong-based pharma company, Joint Force, Anushka was a former WeWork India employee with a degree in psychology.

“At the time both of us were looking to take the entrepreneurial plunge. Fortunately, we noticed a big gap — While the medical industry had evolved, mental and sexual wellness was stagnant. To address this, we initially started a content platform to provide information on sexual education to people,” the cofounders told Inc42. 

However, soon they realised that mere content influencing strategy wouldn’t be enough to change the country’s idea of intimacy and sexual wellness. This was because people’s perception of such products was linked to shady-looking back alley stores or websites on the dark web.

To challenge this, the cofounders decided to leverage their expertise in the areas of content dissemination, marketing, and mental health to build a sustainable brand.

“When we started MyMuse, we intended to create a brand that could help users enhance the experience of physical intimacy. We also wanted to normalise the discourse around it,” one of the cofounders (Anushka) said. 

While the cofounders may not have been completely successful in changing the mindsets of a larger section of Indian society, they believe that they are reaching there.

“In this journey, we are also combating social stigma that embraces some of our products, including intimate massagers,” the cofounders said.  

The duo also told Inc42 that before launching the startup they conducted surveys for nine months to gauge the level of taboo that existed in India regarding sexual wellness products. To their surprise, many individuals said that they were open to using these products if they had tasteful packaging and messaging.  

“Marketing shapes society’s perceptions, and the Indian sex industry has struggled with stigma. For MyMuse, we have moved away from that image. Our brand messaging, packaging, promotional content, and website focus on delight,” the cofounders said.

How MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual WellnessHow MyMuse Is Changing India's Perception Towards Sexual Wellness

MyMuse’s Wellness Stack 

After refining branding, the cofounders launched their first product, a massage oil, in June 2021. Following this, the startup expanded its sexual wellness offerings to include an oil-based candle, a lubricant, and a “massager” within a year.

Initially, the company targeted women aged 25-35. However, they soon realised their audience was equally split between men and women. To cater to this broader demographic, MyMuse expanded its product line to include more oils and lubes, card games, and swipes, among other items.

The cofounders have a unique approach to incorporating new products into the startup’s product folio. Elaborating on this, Sahil said they hold a Shark Tank-like in-house competition among their employees every now and then. This initiative encourages employees to develop exciting product ideas, pitches, designs, and marketing and go-to-market strategies. The startup has been able to come up with several of its products with this strategy.

Moving on, the cofounders said that a key component of their product development is a beta testing community of about 250 users who provide pre-launch feedback. Sahil said that these inputs are crucial for educating customers and differentiating their products in the market. 

“We feel that without a content commerce angle, a D2C startup won’t work in the long run. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make sure that decision paralysis around products is avoided. It becomes critical for us to inform the potential customers exactly what differentiates us from others. With the knowledge gained from our beta testing group, we fine-tune our content strategies and products to stand out from the competition,” he added.  

Meanwhile, the cofounders told Inc42 that they are looking to limit their SKUs to 25 products to assuage its users from getting “decision paralysis”. The cofounders aren’t looking at new introductions anytime soon. 

MyMuse’s Future Roadmap

Currently, MyMuse’s biggest peeve is its expenses. Notably, the company procures its products from outside India and spends a fortune on packaging and marketing efforts.

This is the reason why it incurred a loss of INR 2.41 Cr despite generating INR 14.90 Cr in FY23. Of its total revenues earned during the fiscal, the startup’s expenses stood at INR 17.34 Cr, up 561% YoY.

While the company was able to grow its revenues 6.6X from FY22’s INR 1.97 Cr, its expenses stood at a mere INR 2.62 Cr during the fiscal.

Meanwhile, according to the cofounders, the company achieved profitability in the final months of FY24, helped by a significant rise in revenues in the corresponding period a year ago.

Sahil attributes the rise in revenues to the company’s focus on being gender agnostic. The company is now looking to enter the couples category. 

“While solo play has been the focus of the rest of our competitors, we are looking to go beyond this and address the needs of couples. The decision stems from the fact that couples can purchase together and if they like how it feels they have a much higher chance of becoming recurring customers,” the cofounder said. 

For now, the startup continues to tread carefully under the country’s obscenity laws. While there is no explicit law in India that bans or regulates the sale of intimate wellness products, the company will need to practise caution while advertising and creating promotional content surrounding its product stack.

[Edited by Shishir Prasher]





Source link

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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