While leading brands skirt the topic of menstruation, Nua took it head on and built an online community where women feel safe to ask questions and share their experiences during that time of the month. After listening to hundreds of women, founder Ravi Ramachandran created a solution that is configured to a woman's individual cycle, delivered directly to her home, every month.
What drew us to Nua was their vision of changing the conversation (and lack thereof) around women's health by tackling menstruation – a taboo subject in India. Though pop culture and the media have done their part to bring it out in the open, it remains a topic that many Indian women are uncomfortable discussing in public. We've come a long way since then and what started as tackling menstruation has now evolved into womens wellness that rides on empathy and care. Nua's close knit community of 187K followers and a 53% subscriber retention rate are brand evangelists that drive conversations and new product development.
With international brands like Whisper and Stayfree taking up the bulk of the market share in India, Nua was a newcomer in the space back in 2018. At the same time, these brands tend to avoid the reality of what women face during that time of the month. Thus building trust and a strong community were critical first steps when building the brand and establishing its presence. Before going into production, Ravi spoke to over 500 women to understand their challenges and pain points around periods. They quickly realised that what women wanted most was a platform that reassured them that they were not alone in facing these issues.
“For me, it’s a platform that we’re trying to build, around products, community and care.”
In the first 6 months they grew their Instagram following to 22k (they've crossed 187k as of today) as opposed to the two largest brands who have no social media presence to speak of. We've long emphasised the increasingly important role of content in building brands. Right from the start, Nua has focused on creating meaningful content that is informative, relatable and critically, shedding those taboos. Since inception, they have stayed relevant through meaningful collaborations. From Facebook AMA sessions with gynaecologists to mental health experts during Covid-19, they've catered to the community and their needs. Building awareness around common issues throughout the entire cycle, as well as tapping into the growing importance of self care. Over time, they moved from talking about periods to sexual wellness, menopause and general women's wellness.
Nua's community is its greatest marketing asset. Its massive online following has been built organically, by giving women a space to talk and feel cared for. And by reaching out directly to their customers – Nua products are sold through their own website – they've built an emotional connection with customers that the Whispers and Stayfrees of the world would envy.
Nua's sanitary napkins are made in India following Korean quality standards, considered the gold standard in the feminine care industry. They are free of perfume and prints and soft to touch. Every woman has a different cycle, therefore the napkins come in packs of 12 that can be configured for low, medium and heavy flow days. The packaging design eschews being hidden away – No more brown paper bags, it's okay to keep this out in the open. Customers can opt for a subscription and delivery frequency of their choice, which ensures that packs are delivered promptly to their homes. Once used, a discreet sleeve is provided for disposal. Going through the entire customer journey, it's clear that they've thought about every possibly pain point and addressed it in a thoughtful way. They are constantly refining the product and making improvements to the overall experience, as a result of customer feedback. They've also diversified into period pain with their product called cramp comfort, a period nutrition mix called Uplift and are on their way to innovate more around womens wellness.
The opportunity with Nua is in being more than a product. Listening to the community has been central to its model, and the focus is to continue to build a holistic and personalised experience in women's wellness through great products, genuine care and meaningful content that addresses real issues.
Nua is rethinking what feminine care is all about. We're excited to lead Nua's $4 million Series A round and welcome them to our portfolio – the first investment from Lightbox's third fund. Here's to sparking a bold, new dialogue around women's wellness.
The future belongs to brands transforming transactions into trust.
Creativity involves a certain amount of rebellion. The best thing a brand can do is to drive a product’s strategy through a market efficiently by provoking conversation and creating desire. Your fans represent the character, vibrancy and future of your brand.
Tips from Photojojo on how to scale a brand online. One big learning: hire your fans!
As tech flattens the world, brands have the ability to directly connect with consumers. Born on the internet and made big by digitally native millennials, these brands challenge big industry business models across the world.
At Lightbox we’ve always tried to use tech to build interesting businesses. Companies that understand what Indian consumers want as well as they understand their household budgets. We ran our annual day at a modern art gallery in Colaba, with our CEOs as well as a few founders from our network to lead the discussion.
Indian consumers have repeatedly demonstrated their comfort with new technology. And that's starting to show at scale in the 120 emerging metros where demand for new and better products and services outpaces supply. Even at the foothills of the Himalayas, people are ready for life online – and open to a new way of doing things.
You will receive the next newsletter in your inbox.
The monthly Gazette is your source of happenings within Lightbox - updates, blogs, deep dives, opinion pieces and all things consumer tech
Join the thousands who hear from us