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, co-founders Ravi Ramachandran and Swathi Kulkarni 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.
With international brands like Whisper and Stayfree taking up the bulk of the market share in India, Nua is a newcomer in the space. 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, Swathi and 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 us, 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 25k 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. They have Facebook AMA sessions with gynaecologists and other experts, build awareness around common issues throughout the entire cycle, as well as tapping into the growing importance of self care. Over time, they hope to move 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.
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.
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Nua's founders Ravi Ramachandran & Swathi Kulkarni on co-creating a trusted wellness brand through great products, meaningful content and holistic care for women.