Will Kennedy and Dr. Adrian Gilbane are the founders of Sons - one of the fastest growing D2C health companies in Europe.
They are solving an important problem: two thirds of men are unlikely to seek treatment for mild health issues. Targeting mild disease, their vision is to become a global brand that leads the conversation and change in treatments of men’s health
In just under a year since launching, Sons have successfully helped over 10,000 men in the UK and Ireland beat hair loss.
In 2020, they started working with Wayflyer as a way to fund their growth in between their equity investment rounds. This helped them to grow by over 300%, avoid any dilution, and ultimately increase the valuation of their business.
This is how they did it.
The brand, founded by two friends, Will Kennedy and Dr Adrian Gilbane, one a business expert and one a medical expert, came to fruition after an honest conversation about hair loss and the pain point of seeking costly treatment, over a few pints down the pub. Wanting to do things differently, Sons was born. They started off with hair loss treatment plans via online medical consultations. Their treatments have a higher success rate than any competitor (working for over 94.1% of men) all whilst costing less than a monthly gym membership.
Sons raised an initial equity investment of £1.1M and launched the business in January 2020.
Immediately after launch the team could see the brand and model was resonating with consumers. Adrian and Will quickly decided to invest in further growth, exploring funding options for marketing and inventory.
Sons considered a wide range of different funding providers, before making the decision to partner with Wayflyer.
“We spoke to pretty much every funding provider out there”, says Will. “Ultimately, we chose to work with Wayflyer because of how impressed we were with the team and the fact that their product offers support beyond just funding, such as marketing insights which was really valuable in the early stages of our business."
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the Sons team have used Wayflyer funding to invest in marketing and inventory and have seen great results.
“We are on track to achieve up to 400% growth this year”, says Will. “It took us 9 months to go from €0-€100K in MRR (monthly recurring revenue). With help from Wayflyer, we were able to go from €100k to €200K in MRR in just 3 months.”
Will and the Sons team have also been able to work with the Wayflyer team for support outside of just funding. “Wayflyer help us by regularly reviewing marketing KPIs and collaborating with us on our strategy and funding needs”, says WIll. “They are always adding new ways to support us. As we work with them, the funding rates they offer us have gotten better and better which is a huge benefit for us. It’s a great partnership”, says Will.
With ambitious long term goals, Will and Adrian want to eventually bring on more equity investors to help fund their product and market expansion. They see Wayflyer as part of their funding plans between these equity rounds. With Wayflyer, they’ve been able to grow their revenue by over 300%, whilst avoiding any dilution of their company.
Will believes this has put them in a strong position; “We’ve captured 2% share in our core markets in the second year of trading. Our customer and revenue performance puts is in a good position to scale into new categories and markets later this year. Using Wayflyer’s funding has allowed us to accelerate this growth”.
The Sons team are as committed as ever to creating the next generation of men’s health and well being and have lots of exciting new services in their pipeline. They’ve recently launched a new Gut Health service and are planning on launching an Immunity and Brain Health service in the near future.
It’s no wonder Will, Adrian and the rest of the Sons team are so excited about the massive opportunity in front of them.
“We chose to work with Wayflyer because of how impressed we were with the team and the fact that their product offers support beyond just funding, such as marketing insights.”