The company will directly invest these funds into product innovation and scientific research, according to a press release issued this week.
Combined with its seed round and a $10.5 million Series A led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund in 2017, Ritual has raised $40.5 million to date.
The company also said it will continue to invest in key senior hires and grow its science team. Its most recent hires are chief scientific officer, Dr Nima Alamdari—a Harvard-trained physiologist with extensive experience in consumer health—as well as Dr Mastaneh Sharafi, director of scientific and clinical affairs.
This latest round was spearheaded by existing investors Lisa Wu at Norwest Venture Partners (Jet.com, Plaid, Opendoor), who also joins Ritual’s board. Other investors are Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures (Hims, Dollar Shave Club, Glossier), and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund (Stemcentrx, Oscar Health, Airbnb).
A focus on women
Founded in 2015, the company has been on a quest to “challenge the status quo and work to improve the quality of vitamins for all of womankind.” Its first product, launched in 2016, was a daily multivitamin called Essential for Women, formulated to fill in the most common nutritional gaps in women. It contains vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK7, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, boron, iron, and magnesium.
“It turns out women need different things from men—we know that men need less iron and more zinc,” founder and CEO Katerina Schneider told us in a 2017 interview.
Its second product launched in the fall of last year, the ‘Essential Prenatal,’ containing 1000 mcg of folate, 55 mg of choline, 300 mg of microalgae DHA, and more.
The company markets directly to consumers, charging $30 per month for Essential for Women and $35 per month for Essential Prenatal. According to the company, it has sold 1 million bottles since its founding.
Schneider founded the company when she was looking for a prenatal.
“I called several friends to see what vitamins they were taking,” she said. “What shocked me was that most people couldn’t remember the brand of vitamins that they’ve been taking for years.”
“Here’s a $30 billion plus industry, and yet there are so many of us who have no idea what vitamins to take [and] what was in vitamins we were taking every day, it just seemed like an interesting opportunity to build a brand,” she added.