The Techstars Portfolio Company Solves Health and Wellness Needs via Digital, Design-First Machines
SOS, a female-founded creator and operator of interactive vending machines delivering premium products and digital content in public spaces, including Fenway Park, FLA Live Arena, Prudential Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital, has raised $3.4 million in funding. The company is solving the age-old problem of broken, out-of-stock tampon machines with a modern device and service that delivers essential personal care and beauty products from today’s leading brands.
The latest round was led by early-stage investor For Later LLC, with participation from the Khan family, owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C.; Jerod Mayo, a New England Patriots coach and former player; Ju Rhyu, founder and CEO of Hero Cosmetics; as well as leading executives and founders in real estate, retail, advertising, marketing, sports, and entertainment.
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“Our machines transform a moment of panic into a moment of empowerment and choice”
Founders and Co-CEOs, Susanna Twarog and Robina Verbeek met as colleagues at a Fortune 100 company and noticed the alarming absence of quality health and wellness products at the office and in most public spaces. To solve this problem, they invented the SOS machine in 2017—a curvy, elegant IoT-enabled device that delivers individually packaged products for people on the go. The machine is equipped with a video touch screen that delivers targeted content and powers a completely cardless, contactless purchase experience. The company holds five design patents across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and China.
“Our machines transform a moment of panic into a moment of empowerment and choice,” said Verbeek. “We believe that convenient access must be paired with exceptional products and an elevated retail experience. ‘Quick and easy’ shouldn’t mean ‘cheap and shoddy,’ especially when it comes to women’s health. Everyone deserves better.”
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SOS got its start in Boston, where its smart vending machines are featured in high-traffic locations across the city. The company’s next installation will bring an additional 35 SOS machines to the Florida Panthers’ FLA Live Arena in Sunrise and five machines to the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs. In the coming months, SOS will expand to new cities and locations across the U.S., including New York, Florida, California, and beyond.
“We’re proud to partner with SOS to meet the wellness and personal needs of our staff, fans, and the South Florida community,” said Panthers Chief Commercial Officer Shawn Thornton. “We hope the SOS smart machines give patrons peace of mind knowing they can easily access these wellness products while enjoying concerts, games or events at FLA Live Arena.”
Since its first installation in January 2020, SOS was one of 10 companies selected to join the Techstars Boston Accelerator, selected as a Top 20 Emerging Brand in Retail by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and joined the Female Founder Collective (FFC), a non-profit that supports future-focused women in business.