Ending Leakage, Period: Why We Funded Tempo

February 3, 2020
Investments

Dorm Room Fund is excited to announce our latest investment in Tempo, a company building the world’s first tampon engineered for high performance and reliability.

Today, 70% of Women Deal with Period Products that Fail at Exactly the Wrong Time

Tampons are widely used yet are fundamentally flawed: 59.43 million American women use tampons, yet 70% say they’ve experienced tampon leakage in the past 3 months. The design of the tampon has remained fundamentally the same since its inception in 1933, and current products fail to accommodate people with active and busy lifestyles. Recent innovations for tampons have been largely limited to material modifications and the introduction of subscription services.

Tempo has re-engineered the tampon from the ground up with high performance and reliability in mind. By using an innovative spiral design and biodegradable materials, Tempo safely slows leakage by 8.5x while being more environmentally-friendly.

Tempo's innovative spiral design.

Founders Amanda Calabrese and Greta Meyer have developed this technology over the past year, rigorously testing prototypes with laboratory, clinical, and biomedical partners to ensure a reliable product. They’ll be piloting their direct-to-consumer (DTC) tampon offering in the UK in Spring 2020, and will follow-up with an official launch in the U.S. by the end of the year. In addition to tampons, the duo plans to launch other feminine hygiene products in the future.

Tempo founders Amanda Calabrese (left) and Greta Meyer (right).

Why Dorm Room Fund Invested

1. Desperate Market Need: 59 million women spend upwards of $1800 on tampons over their lifetimes, yet these crucial products are flawed by design. Tempo’s spiral design introduces a defensible innovation that establishes a formidable competitive moat while not being so far out as to assume high technical risk.

2. Team: Greta (CEO) and Amanda (COO) are product design whizzes, and have iterated through dozens of prototypes as they have arduously validated their product in conjunction with fluidics professor Dr. Gerald Fuller during their time as Stanford engineers. But an impressive skill set isn’t the only thing that makes Greta and Amanda the best possible team to found this company. Greta is a former Division I lacrosse player, Amanda is a national surf lifesaving champion, and they were both tired of their feminine hygiene products failing when it mattered most. They are the customer they’re designing for, providing them with a massive advantage when it comes to understanding the user experience and brand positioning for Tempo.

3. Unique Go-to-Market Strategy: By leveraging their networks as athletes, the team has found enthusiastic support across various high profile women’s sporting groups. Given how challenging it can be to organically bootstrap a DTC brand, this unique network will act as a catalyst for growth and customer acquisition.

Written by Shrey Gupta, DRF Partner (SF). Follow him on Twitter.

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