Sex Toy Maker JimmyJane Raises $2M


Sex toy maker JimmyJane raised $2 million from a group of investors in its Series E round, according to a new regulatory filing. This brings the company’s total to $8.3 million.

JimmyJane, a startup looking to become the Montblanc of vibrating sex toys, has raised money from investors such as technology hedge fund Palo Alto Investors and a limited liability company controlled by venture capitalist Tim Draper, documents show.

Since its initial institutional financing round, the company has launched several new products. Its original line of high-end toys were pricey, starting at $175 and ranging up to $3,250 for its diamond-studded platinum vibrator. It has since added several down-market offerings, such as a the $90 “Iconic Rabbit” and a $36 vibrating ring.

Another addition to its line, pictured above, is a vibrator engraved with artwork by noted pop-artist Jamie Hewlett [image from JimmyJane.com]

The most recent regulatory filing does not list the startup’s latest investors, if there are new ones. Previous investors include a bevy of well known financiers and consumer industry experts. Few of the investors talk about their involvement with the company.

Cash came from Palo Alto Investors, a $1.5 billion technology-focused hedge fund, which describes its strategy as “Focused exclusively on overlooked, misunderstood and undervalued segments of the equity market that have significant potential for positive returns.” It invested in JimmyJane out of its Micro Cap fund.

Tim Draper—managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson—is the kingpin of investing in young companies that become viral successes, such as Hotmail and Skype Technologies. A source familiar with the firm said the limited liability company controlled by Draper does not involve any DFJ money.

But he isn’t the only VC involved with San Francisco-based JimmyJane. Phil Schlein, a venture partner at U.S. Venture Partners, is listed as one of the company’s directors. Schlein was president and CEO of Macy’s California for more than a decade and has focused on the retail sector while at USVP. Schlein invested his personal money in JimmyJane’s Series C, and did not commit USVP’s money.

The executive team has put together an impressive board of directors. Since its last financing, it added Jean-Michel Valette, who has served on the boards of several consumer-oriented products, including Samuel Adams brewer The Boston Beer Co.; Peet’s Coffee & Tea; and mattress maker Select Comfort.

Another director is Amy Schoening, who was the chief marketing officer of clothing store Gap Inc., where she helped redirect the Banana Republic brand. She now runs a brand consulting company called True Story in San Francisco and has been working with companies such as the Levi Strauss & Co. to help sell more of its Dockers brand.

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