34. Cornerstone

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Founder: Oliver Bridge
Founded: January 2013 (launched July 2014)
Website: www.cornerstone.co.uk

A self-confessed hatred of shaving, skin rash and shopping for toiletries was what led to 27 year-old Oliver Bridge’s “eureka moment” while queuing to buy some over-priced razors in Boots. “Couldn’t I do this better,” he thought – and the idea for Cornerstone was born.

The online service sells and delivers men’s razors and shaving products over the internet on a flexible subscription model, allowing customers to choose a combination of products and a delivery schedule that matches their routine. Flexible is the key word: Cornerstone prides itself on allowing customers to cancel, pause, or change their deliveries at any time. And despite competition from some major international rivals, it seems UK men are responding to this new way of doing things, with 37,500 having signed up so far – growing 5% week-on-week.

Cornerstone was named People’s Champion at the 2015 Startups Awards – voted for by Startups readers – and in July last year raised an impressive £900,000 from the crowd in an oversubscribed campaign on Crowdcube, so the business is clearly doing something right. Bridge – who started his first e-commerce business selling large shoes at just 15 – has ambitious plans for the young start-up, with hopes to hit 100,000 customers this year, expand internationally and launch a new razor based on features recommended by his customers. Watch this space.

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