Top VC Backs Adult Toy Startup

JimmyJane, a startup looking to become the Montblanc of vibrating sex toys, late last year raised a $1.1 million Series C financing from a group of investors that includes a limited liability company controlled by a top venture capitalist. PE Week subscribers can found out who by clicking here. The round is still open as the company aims to raise $2.5 million.

Based on its sales growth, VCs would be hard-pressed not to at least take a peek at JimmyJane. The San Francisco-based startup sells a premium line of gold and platinum vibrators along with sensual candles, silk and suede blindfolds, body jewelry and fragrances. JimmyJane began selling its products online in 2005 and added retail store sales midway through the year. Company founder Ethan Imboden says that revenue grew 300% during 2006 and he expects sales in 2007 to grow 900% over last year. “Last year was like pulling back a slingshot,” says, founder Ethan Imboden. “This year, were letting it go.”

However, raising money for the startup hasnt been easy. “I cant even tell you what a challenge it was to get people to understand what we were doing when I only had a few sketches,” Imboden says. “But we have reached a scale now and a level of dialogue with consumers that investors really understand.”

Still, the company has found favor with at least one VC.