After a year that included a big push into Target, Aunt Fannie’s has begun 2019 with $5 million in new funding. It plans to use the money to step up marketing and expand beyond home-cleaning and pest-control products.
The new round, led by existing investors, including Mrs. Meyer’s and Caldera founder Monica Nassif, pushes the Portland startup’s total funding to $10.5 million.
“We hit the benchmarks we needed to hit in 2018,” CEO Mat Franken said. “Our new product innovations were a success, and we were able to push into mass market channels like Target.”
Aunt Fannie’s distinguishes itself from conventional and even nontoxic competitors by using whole and food-based ingredients that encourage a healthy microbiome.
It’s a unique identity that’s finding resonance in the market; Franken told the Business Journal that Aunt Fannie’s sales doubled in 2017, then tripled last year.
Franken cited “Mosquito Wipes” as an example of a winning innovation in 2018. The wipes use soybean, citronella, cedarwood, pepperwood, lemongrass and geranium oils instead of the chemical DEET to repel the bloodsuckers.
In March, Aunt Fannie’s will release details on a new line of “personal care” products it’s been working on, Franken said.
Franken launched Aunt Fannie’s six years ago in South Carolina with a natural and non-toxic fruit-fly trap called FlyPunch! He moved the operation to Portland in early 2016, seeing the city as a good environment to grow a business that emphasizes health and innovation.