AKT secures funding from Stonebridge
AKT, the upmarket natural gender free deodorant, has secured £1.5 million in funding from Stonebridge, the digital-first consumer brand investment firm headed up by direct-to-consumer entrepreneur James Cox.
The brand will use the investment to increase its footprint across Europe and to enhance its subscription, loyalty programme and ecommerce experiences.
Founded by Ed Currie and Andy Coxon in 2020, the brand is also planning to develop its range of 100% recyclable products beyond its successful deodorant balms.
The pair both had busy jobs in London’s West End theatre district before setting up the brand. Performing eight shows a week under hot stage lighting in popular musicals, they found that mainstream deodorants did not work hard enough for them so decided to create their own.
Currie said: “We had active lifestyles being performers: rehearsals and auditions during the day, then we’d go to the gym, to dance class, all while doing eight shows a week. In those creaky old theatres you have to go up five flights of stairs to your dressing room and then down again to the stage, so we were just very sweaty people.”
With its tag line being “Tested on dancers, not animals”, AKT has ambitions to be a leading luxury, plastic-free natural skincare brand with the help of Coxon.
While AKT uses a DTC subscription model, Selfridges brought the brand in-store as part of its Project Earth initiative while John Bell & Croydon adorned its Wigmore Street windows with an entire AKT window display.
Managing partner at Stonebridge, Cox said: “Natural deodorants have been gaining significant momentum with consumers due to growing awareness of the potential harmful effects of aluminium-salts in deodorant formulas.
“The organic deodorant market is set to be worth $158.5 million by 2025. AKT’s perfect blend of style and substance positions them well as a future winner, with the same attributes giving them license to extend the range at speed.”
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