Last updated on November 22nd, 2020 at 07:51 pm

Best Direct-to-Consumer Brands of 2020

About D2C products

When pondering the most radical transformation in retail over the last ten years, what comes to mind? Many praise technology because, well, it’s true. You can’t understate the impact of Amazon, social media, and smart devices on consumer behavior. But just as important has been the direct-to-consumerization of everything.

 

Unfamiliar with the “Direct-to-Consumer” (also called DTC or D2C) movement? The phrase describes the stampede of hip, digital-first brands selling everyday items online that you used to buy at a store or from a third party wholesaler. Beyond a stunning social media presence, DTC brands offer greater convenience, typically via a subscription model that ships your orders on autopilot, directly to your door. Products range from fresh dog food to underwear, produce boxes to contact lenses, and just about everything in between.

 

With 8 or 9 figure revenues and billion-dollar acquisitions, many popular DTC brands are disrupting their industry. For example, Gillette’s share of the U.S. men’s razor market fell from 70% to 54% between 2010 and 2016 — precisely the same time brands such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s carved out their own sizable slices of the pie. Unilever then responded by purchasing Dollar Shave Cub for a cool billion (with a “b”). Meanwhile, the same trend of rapid disruption and acquisition took hold beyond just shaving across a wide variety of product categories.

Explore

Top 40 direct-to-consumer brands

Best D2C brands

OverviewFunding($) & HQ locationRelated ReviewsCategory
ApostropheApostrophe is an online pharmacy offering prescriptions for men's hair loss, ED, Premature ejaculation, & more.6.1m
Oakland
Apostrophe skincare review

Himshims is an online dermatologist with telemedicine treatments for acne, hair loss, wrinkles, Rosacea, & more. Use code FIN10 at checkout for $10 off.197m
NYC
Hims vs Rogain review

nurxNurx is a leader in online birth control and STI testing for women.93.4m
San Francisco
Nurx Birth Control Review

KeepsKeeps prescribes premium men's hair loss meds online.22.8m
NYC
Hims vs Roman vs Keeps

hydrantHydrant is a leading brand of rapid rehydration electrolyte powder that hydrates you faster and more efficiently than water alone.8.8m
NYC
Liquid IV vs Nuun vs Hydrant

RomanRoman is an online pharmacy offering prescriptions for men's hair loss, ED, Premature ejaculation, & more.176.1m
NYC
Roman PE review

Blink HealthBlink Health is an online pharmacy for a wide range of prescription medications.165m
NYC
Blink Health review

RoryRory helps women in Menopause with treatments for vaginal dryness, latisse, and more.176.1m
NYC
Rory review

ZeroZero is anti-smoking gum designed to help you kick your nicotine habit.176.1m
NYC
Zero Smoking Cessation review

coveCove is the only DTC brand focuses on migraine relief treatments.22.8m
NYC
Cove Migrain Relief review

LemonaidLemonaid is an online pharmacy offering wide range of prescription medications.20.7m
San Francisco
Roman vs Lemonaid

hersHers sells prescription birth control, anxiety meds, and acne treatments for women online.197m
San Francisco
Proactive vs Curology vs Hers

CurologyCurology prescribes personalized prescription acne treatments.22.6m
San Diego
Proactive vs Curology vs Hers

The pill clubThe pill club is an birth control delivery and subscription brand.Birth ControlHers vs Nurx vs Pill Club

CerebralCerebral is an online platform offering prescription m edication and teletherapy for anxiety and depression.Anxiety
Depression
Cerebral Mental Health Review

BrightsideBrightside provides treatment for depression and anxiety.Anxiety
Depression
Brightside Review

Done ADHDDone is a brand focusing on ADHD treatments.ADHDAhead vs Done

AheadAhead provides treatment and medicine for ADHD.ADHDAhead vs Done

CerebralParsley Health delivers personalized doctor-led care and support for chronic conditions, online or in-person.Chronic ConditionsForward vs One Medical vs Parsley Health

FelixFelix provides lifestyle meds delivered to your door.Lifestyle MedicineFelix Review

TorchTorch is a holistic weight care program, based on your biology and behaviors.Weight LossComing Soon

REX MDPEX MD provides presccribed ED medicine and treatment.Erectile DysfunctionComing Soon

HubbleHubble offers an affordable daily contact lens subscription.73.7m
NYC
Hubble vs Waldo

WaldoWaldo manufactures affordable daily contact lenses and sells them direct to consumers online.6.8m
London
Hubble vs Waldo

ContactsCartContactsCart is a discounted contact lenses retailer (Hubble's third-party marketplace).$73.7M
New York, NY
ContactsCart vs 1-800 Contacts

ambrAmbr offers eyeglasses for the digital generation.Dublin, IrelandComing soon

ZenniZenni is a leader in online prescription eyewear.Novato, CAFelix Gray vs Warby Parker vs Blokz

Review: Fast Growth D2C Brands


PairPair is an eyewear brand designed and made specifically for children.$1M
New York, NY
Pair Eyewear – Customizable Glasses for Kids

Felix GrayFelix Gray provides eyewear protecting against digital eye strain.$6.1M
New York, NY
Felix Gray vs Warby Parker vs Blokz

ScoutScout is a contact lenses maker and retailer.$290.5M
New York, NY
Hubble vs Scout by Warby Parker vs Waldo

Review: Scout Contacts by Warby Parker

Waldo vs 1-800 Contacts vs Sightbox

Review: Hubble vs Dailies

Review: Fast Growth D2C Brands


Fitz FramesFitz Frames provides 3D printed custom light-weight, durable eyeglasses for kids.$2.5M
Los Angeles, CA
Quarterly D2C VC Funding

JinsJins is an affordable eyewear maker.public, IPO'd in 2013, market cap 182.25B JPY, Tokyo, Japan Review: Fast Growth D2C Brands

Aveo VisionAveo Vision provides advanced, affordable, all‑day‑comfortable daily contacts.San Francisco, CAHubble vs Acuvue vs Aveo
Review: Fast Growth D2C Brands


BillieBillie is a hip women's razor blade brand and shave subscription.35m
NYC
Billie vs Flamingo vs Venus
ModibodiModibodi is popular brand of leak-proof period panties for women.AustraliaModibodi vs Ruby Love
quipQuip sells sleek and portable electric toothbrushes that are ideal for travellers.62.2m
NYC
Quip vs Goby vs Sonicare
CandidCandid offers affordable invisible aligners that straighten teeth without visits to the orthodontist.$78.4m Series B
New York, NY
Candid vs Byte vs Invisalign
Smile Direct ClubSmile Direct Club affers clear aligners that straighten teeth without visits to the orthodontist. They also recently launched an oral care product line as well.$1.3b IPO
Nashville, Partners
Smilelove vs Candid vs Smiledirectclub
ByteByte offers clear plastic aligners without visits to the orthodontist, as well as a high frequency vibrations therapy mouth guard that makes your aligners more effective. Los Angeles, CACandid vs Byte vs Invisalign
New Smile ClubNewSmile is a Canadian startup offering affordable clear aligners that straighten teeth without going to the orthodontist.Vancouver, CanadaNewSmile Aligner Review
GobyGoby sells sleek electric tooth brushes and other premium oral care products as a low-price monthly subscription.$2.2m Seed
New York, NY
Quip vs Goby vs Sonicare
Himsglowup. offers a premium at-home teeth whitening kit that uses LED light to brighten your smile.Santa Monica, CAHismile vs Glowup vs Smiledirectclub
Burst Oral CareBurst provides affordable oral care products on a subscription basis, including a powerful electric toothbrush.$20m Seed
Walnut, CA
Burst vs Crest Whitestrips
Super SmileSuperSmile is yet another premium oral care product brand with the option of a subscription.- New York, NYComing soon
HiSmileHiSmile provides oral cosmetic products such as teeth whitening kits and toothpastes that contain all natural ingredients to brighten teeth without sensitivity.- Queensland, AUHismile vs Glowup vs Smiledirectclub
AlignerCoAlignerCo offers an affordable way to straighten teeth with invsibile aligners sent directly to your door.- New York, NYSnapCorrect vs Smile Direct Club vs AlignerCo
Uniform Teeth$14m Series A San Francisco, CAComing soon
DrizlyDrizly is the fastest alcohol delivery app, bringing you booze in 60 minutes or less.69.9m
Boston
Drizly vs Saucey

grazeGraze offers delivers nutritious snack boxes.Acquired by Unilever
London
Coming soon

GroveGrove is a marketplace for healthier groceries and home essentials.165.8m
San Francisco
Coming soon

HintHint ships fruit infused bottled water directly to your door.6.8m
San Francisco
Coming soon

Home ChefHome Chef is a leading fresh meal kit delivery subscription.Acquired by Kroger
Chicago
Coming soon

Hungry HarvestHungry Harvest offers farm-to-doorstep produce delivery.0.5m
Baltimore
Misfits Market vs Imperfect Produce vs Hungry Harvest

Imperfect FoodsImpefect Foods ships a fresh produce subscription box for 30% less than stores.47.1m
San Francisco
Misfits Market vs Imperfect Produce vs Hungry Harvest

NoomNoom is a leading weight-loss app for building healthier habits.114.7m
NYC
Noom vs Nutrisystem Weight Loss System Review

HungryRootHungryRoot delivers healthy meals ready to eat in <10 minutes.35.4m
NYC
Coming soon

OllieOllie is a leading fresh dog food subscription service.17m
NYC
Ollie vs Pet Plat vs NomNomNow

Pet PlatePet Plate offers a fresh dog food subscription to keep your furry friends healthy.4m
NYC
Ollie vs Pet Plat vs NomNomNow

RitualRitual sells personalized vitamin formulations for women.40.5m
Los Angeles
Gem vs Ritual Women's Vitamins Review

ThriveThrive is a members-only market for sustainably-sourced organic goods.161.9m
Los Angeles
Online Organic Markets Review

FreshlyFreshly prepares chef-cooked, healthy meals and delivers them to your door.107m
NYC
Coming soon

Misfits MarketMisfits Market reduces food waste by partnering with local farmers and selling their excess produce to consumers in a healthy subscription box.16.5m
Philadelphia
Misfits Market vs Imperfect Produce vs Hungry Harvest

SommSomm helps support sleep. It's that simple. Drink one can 30 minutes before bed. Best of all, you can sleep easy knowing it's gluten-, dairy-, and drug-free.UnknownComing soon

Imperfect ProduceImperfect Product offers weekly grocery delivery service.Misfits Market vs Imperfect Foods vs Hungry Harvest

CalibrateCalibrate provides one-year program for weight loss.Calibrate Review

RootineRootine is a brand for personalized nutrient Formula based on science and biology.Coming Soon

BazeBaze provides personal supplements based on at-home blood test.Persona vs Care/of vs Baze

Care/ofCare/of helps find the right vitamins, protein and collagen.Persona vs Care/of vs Baze

GEMGEM is a real food Vitamin designed to support your daily nutritional needs with ingredients you understand.GEM vs Ritual

TorchTorch is a holistic weight care program, based on your biology and behaviors.Coming Soon

Criteria

How did we come up with this list of D2C brands?

With so many Direct-to-Consumer companies out there, we needed a framework to choose only 40. We wanted to be objective and name the most legitimate and likely to stick around for the long haul. Starting by gathering a fairly comprehensive list of well-known D2C companies we knew personally or could find in public databases like Crunchbase and CBinsights (excluding fashion, for now), we scored them based on 5 key empirical metrics. We then assigned each of those core metrics a weight (out of 100% total) based on the strength of the signal:

 

  • Venture capital funding – 25%
  • Website’s monthly unique visitors – 25%
  • Instagram – 16.67%
  • Facebook – 16.67%
  • Twitter – 16.67%

 

Next we needed to calculate individual scores between 1 and 10 for each key metric. So we established ranges for each KPI with evenly-tiered point values. As an example, here’s how we assigned points for venture funding:

 

  • 1 point for funding <$5,000,000
  • 2 points for $5,000,000 – $20,000,000
  • 3 points for $20,000,000 – $35,000,000
  • 4 points for  $35,000,000 – $50,000,000
  • 5 points for $50,000,000 – $65,000,000
  • 6 points for $65,000,000 – $80,000,000
  • 7 points for  $80,000,000 – $95,000,000
  • 8 points for $95,000,000 – $110,000,000
  • 9 points  for $110,000,000 – $125,000,000
  • 10 points – $125,000,000+

 

For example, a D2C brand with $42 million in funding would score a 4. After doing this for all five metrics, we calculated the score using the formula below:

 

Overall score = (VC Funding Score*.25) + (Unique_visitors_score*.25) + ( Instagram_followers_score*.167) + (Facebook_followers_score*.167) + (Twitter_followers_score*.167)

Define

What exactly defines a “Direct-to-Consumer Brand”?

So is any company that delivers technically “Direct to consumer”? Not exactly. Let’s take a step back and fully define what we mean by a “D2C brand”. In the traditional value chain for retailers, brands managed everything from design, production and marketing before passing the baton to larger retailers for distribution and sales. As an example, most tampon producers used to only sell to retailers like brick and mortar pharmacies or on third party marketplaces like Amazon. These third party intermediaries were the only way brands knew how to sell to their end customer.

 

Direct-to-Consumer brands are different because they take on the distribution and sales of their product themselves. They opt not to pass the baton, which not only gives brands more control of the customer journey, but also increases profits. Over time, it tends to be more efficient for brands to take on the work themselves. The consumer benefits because D2C companies often pass on these savings to their customers in the form of lower prices, or by subsidizing a better experience (i.e. free shipping, introductory offers, etc.) In general, it’s a win for consumers, and presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs.

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