In July, Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club (DSC) for a cool $1B. The European legacy company that produces Dove, Axe and dozens of other brands hoped the purchase would help them challenge Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette. But what’s in it for the Marina Del Rey-based startup? Why sell to the exact type of company they were trying to disrupt?
“It was never our goal to be acquired,” says DSC founder Michael Dubin. “I didn’t get into this business looking to get out of this business. But when Unilever approached us—first about an advisory role for one of their key leaders, then about an investment—we realized acquisition would put everyone in the best position to achieve our vision in its fullest form.”
That vision, according to Dubin, is simple: create a complete line of men’s grooming products that can survive in “an Amazon world.” When anything’s available at the click of a button, he believes the companies that will survive are those that create an experience for their customers—build an emotional relationship through branding, service and, increasingly, through content. As part of Disruption‘s special Los Angeles issue, we caught up with the 38-year-old entrepreneur at his stunning open-air office.