Subscription box businesses aren’t pulling any punches in the fight for $2.6B

Since the value of the subscription box industry increased 45x in 5 years, thousands have jumped in the ring -- but few have made it big.


October 18, 2018

The value of the subscription box industry increased from $57m to $2.6B in just 5 years, attracting more than 3.5k would-be subscription box champions to fight for their chunk of the prize-money.

While some subscription box businesses make it to the multibillion-dollar big time, many more are just trying not to get knocked out in the first round. 

Eyes on the prize

The heavyweights rake in big bucks: Razor-box Dollar Shave Club sold for about $1B and fashion-box Stitch Fix is worth more than $2B.

Other companies are also punching above their weight to sell niche products ranging from dog biscuits to sex toys — and some are succeeding. FabFitFun, the Apollo Creed of trendy hand creams and eye shadow products, has grown 300% annually. 

But 47% of today’s subscription boxes launched within the past year, meaning there are plenty of contenders swinging for the purse… 

And there can only be so many champions

You know the market is saturated when people launch businesses to launch other people’s businesses, but Cratejoy.com does just that with posts like “8 Simple Steps” to succeed as a subscription box biz.

In reality, it’s hard for most subscription box businesses to stay on their feet; more than 1 in 10 went bankrupt in the early rounds, and others are taking a slow beating, selling for less money than they raised to pay off their debt.

So all we’re saying is this: If you’re planning to sink your life savings into your brother-in-law Ted’s hedge-clipper subscription box, just be ready for a financial black eye.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.