Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

Jewish Buddies Who Founded Dollar Shave Club Cash In With $1B Unilever Deal

Dollar Shave Club, a 5-year-old company founded by two Jewish friends who were grousing over the high price of razors at a party, has been bought by Unilever for $1 billion, pending regulatory approval.

The Venice, California-based firm delivers razors and facial cleansing and styling products to consumers by mail.

It was started in 2011 by Mark Levine and Michael Dubin, who met at a party and shared a frustration with the high costs of retail razors. They are famous for their kitschy ads with straightforward messages, such as their 2012 viral Youtube video, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great,” which has been viewed over 22 million times on Youtube.

In the announcement of the deal last night, Unilever noted that Dollar Shave Club had grossed over $152 million in sales last year, and was valued at $615 million last June.

Niche startups built on a direct-to-consumer model, such as Dollar Shave Club threaten the market share of traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) giants, such as Procter and Gamble (who owns Gillette) and Unilever (who until now owned no razor brands). Consumers are willing to spend more for these distinctive products, online distribution is only getting easier and cheaper, and barriers to market entry are crumbling, making it much easier for a small company to gain large traction in a short amount of time. In the words of one executive of a major CPG company, the big traditional players are “kind of f***ed.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.