smol raises £8M Series A to revolutionise the household cleaning market with high performing eco-friendly products

JUL 21, 2020

smol – the detergent-to-your-door brand now loved by more than a quarter of a million households – raised £8M to continue its mission to shake up an industry that has barely innovated for a century. 

Balderton is delighted to have led the round with participation from JamJar Investments. You can read Suranga's article here explaining why we're so excited to welcome them to the Balderton portfolio.  

smol was created by former Unilever employees, Paula Quazi and Nick Green in 2018, and is taking on the big brands with its super convenient laundry and dishwasher capsule packs, which are compact enough to be delivered straight through letterboxes, offering convenience and powerful eco-friendly cleaning performance.

In March this year, smol launched what it believes to be the world’s first 100% plastic-free, child-lock packaging for its laundry and dishwash products. smol spent two years developing a clever way to use fewer chemicals across its range compared to rival homecare products – cutting chemical usage by up to 5 tonnes per week without any loss in cleaning performance. 

Smol founders, Paula Quazi and Nick Green

This means smol’s formulas are kinder to clothes, kinder to skin, and kinder to the planet.

With our busy lives, laundry, and particularly shopping for laundry detergent, is hardly something the majority of us look forward to. Having seen how the industry has barely innovated in over a hundred years we launched smol to take the hassle out of washing for families whose laundry needs have been ignored for decades.

Paula Quazi, Co-founder of smol

smol has 100% plastic-free, child-lock packaging for its laundry and dishwash products.

When people think of technology disruption, it is normal to think of digital products and internet tools. However, technology has the power to make life better for us in the most unexpected ways and we believe Paula, Nick and their amazing team have tapped into just such an opportunity at smol. Every day, smol's products are used to wash the clothes and dishes of a quarter of a million households across the UK. Each time, the company saves customers money, cleans more effectively and leaves less of a mark on the planet.

Suranga Chandratillake, Partner at Balderton

As part of its ongoing commitment to making sustainable and affordable high-performance products, smol has now launched a new super-concentrated eco-friendly fabric conditioner. Free from the hidden animal fat which is actually a key ingredient in most fabric conditioners offered by the big brands. 

smol’s new fabric conditioner bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, are 100% recyclable and smol also offers a returns scheme for refill and reuse. You can find out more about it here

For every four bottles returned, smol will donate 24 laundry washes to charity.

smol's recently launched fabric conditioner comes in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Household cleaning is a great example of a product category where giant incumbents have ignored potential innovation. smol has exploited that complacency, built a product people actually want and, as a result, got people excited about laundry and dishwashing all over again.

Suranga Chandratillake, Partner at Balderton Capital

smol is now the fastest-growing laundry brand and the leading detergent subscription service in the UK, powering 1.5 million washes a week! Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, interest in smol's products has tripled. The startup has successfully responded to this increase in demand by taking measures that both protect the workers fulfilling these orders and maintain supply levels to minimise disruption.

smol has an “Excellent”, five-star Feefo and Trust Pilot rating across more than 15,000 reviews.

The brand continues to have an “Excellent”, five-star Feefo and Trust Pilot rating across more than 15,000 reviews and a loyal, engaged Facebook and Instagram community of over 120,000 followers.

Read more about the funding: 

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