The global adult toy market is expected to reach sheer values, by 2023, and Millennials are seeking new opportunities in the niche. With an estimated value of $35.5 billion by 2023, the market is offering enough to accommodate a large number of entrepreneurs interested in taking this investment path.

But what are the major factors that generate this impressive growth, and what markets around the world show the greatest potential? And most importantly, how do millennials manage to start sex toy businesses that thrive?

An open-minded audience

People of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds have started to shift their attitude when it comes to sex toys. With increasing education on the topic and less stigma around physical pleasure, ventures in the niche have started to create more attractive (less intimidating) products by the day. While in the past physical pleasure was seen as a guilty pleasure, today, people’s attitudes have dramatically changed.

Not only people are more open to enjoying their alone-time, but according to psychologists and relationship experts, couples that use similar toys together experience better communication. And, health-wise, there are plenty of benefits too.

Wellness sells

With the recent consumer attitude conversion, companies in the industry have started to approach their products differently, as wellness solutions. This is not only a marketing and advertising strategy, but it’s also the truth behind these products.

Similar products are helping close the orgasm gap (yep, it’s real), helping both men and women get a better understanding of their bodies and, why not, improve their health and help them discover their real sexual identities.

Besides growing interested in witty apps that can improve their sexual wellness, Millennials use sex toys, too. More discreet and better performing than ever, these new adult toys offer groundbreaking solutions to centuries-old problems. And investors seem to become increasingly aware of this fact.

Being more open about sexual identity is one of the big game changers when it comes to people’s attitudes towards sex toys and adult technology. Celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Aubrey Plaza, Angelina Jolie, or Wentworth Miller have openly discussed their sexual orientation in front of the camera. Besides, popular YouTubers followed online by thousands are also open about sexual orientation, which makes sexuality less of a taboo topic.

Technology mixes well with pleasure

In this new environment, the number of sextech start-ups has slowly risen, as of lately. The more public discourse about sexual intercourse and sex technology has made Millennials like Mayla Green realize the immense potential the niche has. Mixing technology with pleasure to create innovative products and apps, the industry seems to open new opportunities.

All over the world, the niche has evolved in such a way to attract funding and create innovative solutions for everybody’s sexual wellness and health. Below are some European sextech start-ups that have lately disrupted the market.

  • BioSure – this UK-based healthcare start-up has started their journey in the sextech sector with a series of self-testing and diagnostic solutions for STDs. The rapid in-vitro testing solutions allow their clients to test themselves in the comfort of their home for HIV. With easy-to-read results and accuracy rates of almost 100% (99.7%, to be more exact, the company wants to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and to make testing for them more convenient and affordable.
  • Ferly – this is another UK-based sextech startup which aims to bring users a mindful sexual experience. Ferly wants to help people improve their sexual experiences with the help of an audio guide, split into different sessions and workshops. Users can also find a series of quizzes within the app. The main idea behind the system is to empower and educate users, by offering them a sex-positive experience and context to discover themselves.
  • Feeld – also known as the threesome dating app, this venture brings people who want to explore their relationship beyond socio-normative monogamy standards. This app allows couples of all sexual orientations to explore love and their identities in new, open-minded ways.

More attention from investors’ part

The way sextech start-ups find funding has changed tremendously in the past couple of years. Although, traditionally, these enterprises have had immense difficulties in finding funding opportunities because of the stigma surrounding their products or services, now, investors are more open-minded than ever!

With less stigma surrounding businesses in the niche, US investors are pouring money in US-based and Europe located startups. The global sexual wellness industry accounts for $3.7 trillion in revenue.

This new approach to wellness opens thrilling and unexpected opportunities for investors with a history in the field. The main source of funding for companies in the field remains angel investors. Crowdfunding campaigns are another popular solution when for these enterprises, in spite of past failures to raise money by using them. But how you pack this idea also plays a huge role in attracting funds and selling products.

A big emphasis on advertising

Knowing how to advertise and sell such products is also a big part of the game. But as players in the field know, advertising sexual products is still not as easy as advertising soda pop is. In some cases, mainstream sources still won’t accept campaigns for similar products.

But a series of online publications have started to show interest in raising awareness about sex toys, their health and wellness benefits, but also sexual identity. From Business Insider to The Next Web, and Forbes, publications are open today more than ever before to discussing with founders of similar enterprises and ventures.

The adult toy industry is booming and we should expect to see it developing furthermore in the following years. With a keen emphasis on closing gender gaps, empowerment, wellness and personal growth, millennial-founded sextech ventures are about to change the way people see sex and pleasure.

More about the author here.


  • Mayla Green

    Sex Coach & Managing Director

    The Adult Toy Shop

    Mayla Green began as a retail assistant in a sex toy shop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada back in 2004. In early 2007, she relocated to Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, USA and got hired on at The Adult Toy Shop, an online retailer of adult toys and accessories. Within a fee months of employment, Mayla was promoted to Social Media Coordinator, then a year later, full Managing Director. Within all of these job positions, she has been coaching couples how to enjoy sex. The proper term is "Sexpert", or also sex coach (if you ask Mayla, she'll say that "Sexpert" has a nicer ring to it!) Over the past decade, her hands-on experience with selling sex toys is a real asset, especially online where it's trickier for customers to find toys they'll like since they cannot be held in person. As such, she has helped the store gain regular customers as her advice is trustworthy and true. Mayla has provided commentary in sex advice columns & forums all over the web, and has been featured in major publications such as Yahoo Lifestyle, Healthline, O School, Fatherly, Elite Daily, Kinkly, Insider, Cosmopolitan, Romper and Bustle. Make sure to check out Mayla Green's articles, guides & FAQ columns filled with useful information including how-to articles, Q&A series and insider tips on sex toys that you won't find anywhere else.