founder

Founder Profile: The Lieu

Summary

For working women on the go, bringing personal care and grooming products from home to the workplace, to the gym, and back can be exhausting and overwhelming. Rebecca Lima and her team at The Lieu wanted to solve this problem. And the team already has some solid traction. This includes a paid partnership with co-working giant, WeWork. Not to mention, Rebecca and her team have big plans for the future. We got on the phone with Rebecca to learn more about how the Lieu came to be, early reviews of the product, and more-

Olivia Strobl

For those who don’t know, what is the genesis story of The Lieu?

Rebecca Lima

I moved to New York City 3.5 years ago from Florida. Being a Florida girl, living in the city was a challenging transition. I, like most New Yorkers, depend heavily on public transportation, which meant that I started carrying all my personal care belongings with me instead of just tossing it in my car. My back and shoulders have taken the brunt of the abuse, but I realized I wasn’t alone in my struggle. In fact, millions of women shlep their grooming and feminine care products to and from work, daily. That’s where the idea came for The Lieu. Delivering purpose-driven grooming and feminine care products help women logistically get through their day and create more equality in the workplace.

Olivia Strobl

Who are your current customers? Do you tailor mostly to corporate spaces?

Rebecca Lima

We have 3 main distribution models: we sell to large commercial landlords, large occupiers of space (ie. fast-growing companies), and through channel partnerships. We have a pilot with a well respected commercial landlord with over 20 million square feet across major cities including New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. We have a paid contract with WeWork; they have been an anchor client of ours. We’ve expanded our partnership with The Female Quotient – a female-centric event group that hosts lounges in major events of the world. The Lieu will be featured in their lounges at SXSW, NBA All-Star and Adweek. We’ll reach thousands of more professional women through this strategic partner.

Olivia Strobl

How do you plan on allocating funds raised in this round to scale the business?

Rebecca Lima

This year we are doubling down on sales and increasing our distribution network. We have a strong sales pipeline of fast-growing technology startups and have built strong relationships with commercial landlords. We’re moving our operations to a third-party logistics company that will handle inventory, fulfillment, and shipping. Finally, we’ll also invest it in our technology to enhance user experience, engagement, and data monetization.

Olivia Strobl

What are some early reviews of your product?

Rebecca Lima

Our clients love that we give women a safe space to freshen up and that we streamline the ordering process for their team. We’ve also garnered a 96% satisfaction amongst the 12,000 professional women that we’ve serviced.

Olivia Strobl

Do you plan to expand into men’s products in the future?

Rebecca Lima

100%! We know that men have personal care needs too. That’s why we’re launching ‘The John’ by the end of this year, the brother service to The Lieu. Feel free to send us any feedback or product suggestions on what products you all want to see!

Olivia Strobl

What are some examples of products featured in your box?

Rebecca Lima

We provide the highest quality essentials on the market in the categories of hair care, skin, body and feminine care products. Some of our most popular items are dry shampoo, body lotion, tampons, liners and body spray. We source from both indie and traditional brands and the vast majority of our products are clean, sustainably-sourced and/or packaged, vegan and/or cruelty-free.

Olivia Strobl

Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?

Rebecca Lima

The Lieu sits at the intersection between amenities within spaces, attraction & retention of talent, and beauty/wellness markets. Therefore, we are truly industry leaders and market distributors. We do a lot of things really well: first, we provide a personalized amenity that fulfills the unspoken needs of an often forgotten group of individuals in the workplace – women. We provide a streamlined ordering and fulfillment that scales with the team’s needs and headcount. Finally, we provide high-quality purpose-driven products that drive employee retention and company morale.

Olivia Strobl

What are the biggest risks associated with your business?

Rebecca Lima

Capturing our distribution network quickly is at the top of our minds. It’s vital to our growth and it helps drive better product deals with our brand partners.

Olivia Strobl

What are some examples of the rewards that customers can unlock through your product?

Rebecca Lima

Women can unlock special product discounts through our QR codes on our displays. Our clients can become “beta” testers of new products and brands we bring to The Lieu by employee engagement and feedback. They can receive free products in their existing boxes to test and provide feedback.

Olivia Strobl

What does your business model look like?

Rebecca Lima

Our primary business model is subscription-based. This model works great for large occupiers (ie. fast-growing tech companies) who are looking for a flexible service that they can scale with their team’s needs and headcount. For commercial landlords and other channel partnership deals we provide wholesale contracts with longer deal terms. 

 

The secondary side of our business model is collecting affiliate transaction fees from product purchases made through The Lieu.

Olivia Strobl

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like?

Rebecca Lima

We see The Lieu as a staple of convenience in a woman’s life. We start with her workplace because women spend the majority of their lives at work but we see The Lieu expanding to verticals like transportation hubs, airports, fitness facilities, universities, hotels, and even our own dedicated spaces. Where women can check-in, change their outfit, store their bags and refresh themselves before heading out the door. It’s your bathroom and closet away from home. 

 

The Lieu’s likely exit opportunity is in the form of an acquisition. The two likely players are LMVH (owners of Sephora) or Ulta Beauty.

The Lieu has not yet been rated by the KingsCrowd investment team. Regardless, we at KingsCrowd are excited to see where Rebecca and her team take the company. It was a pleasure learning more about Rebecca and her vision for the company. The Lieu is currently raising funds on the Republic platform via Crowd SAFE with a $5M valuation cap.

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About: Olivia Strobl

Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.

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