Export Business of the Year 2017
Start-up name: MysteryVibe
Founders: Stephanie Alys, Shanshan Xu, Rob Weekly and Soumyadip Rakshit
Started in: 2014
Based in: London
Business description: The sextech business behind the “world’s first” body-adaptable, smart vibrator
Borne from a desire to bring true innovation to sextech, taboo-busting business MysteryVibe’s luxury smart vibrator, Crescendo – which adapts to its user’s body and is controllable via an app – is generating a real buzz.
Founded by Young Guns Soumyadip Rakshit, Shanshan Xu, and Stephanie Alys, MysteryVibe aims to enhance personal sexual experiences and help long-established couples to re-discover their spark, all while encouraging a more open and embracing discourse around sex across mainstream media.
With an inspiring British success story at its core, MysteryVibe has succeeded despite facing numerous hurdles. The start-up has highlighted that there is a distinct lack of finance available for sextech businesses due to restrictions and the taboo that shrouds the industry.
However, never a business to be cowed, the disruptive start-up’s founders developed their own non-traditional fundraising model and crowdfunded from its internal network.
And this isn’t the only time they’ve innovated their own way of doing things – in order to build the best product possible, MysteryVibe created a two-stage design process; combining traditional, lab-based design with mass testing through 1,000 customers from all walks of life, leading to a final product that is, according to the business, “truly user-designed”.
This approach has proved successful, with the business having shipped a whopping 20,000 products to 55 countries across the world in just three years.
So, we predict big things for this start-up which, unlike its customers, is far from its climax.
While MysteryVibe was crowned Export Business of the Year, the Highly Commended accolade was awarded to Belfast-based cybersecurity firm SaltDNA, and the Commended award went to container shipping booking platform Kontainers.