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Lora DiCarlo, a sextech startup, appears to be in trouble

The sextech firm Lora DiCarlo, which made headlines this year after being banned from the Consumer Electronics Show, seems to have closed its doors. It has been alleged that purchases placed months ago are yet to be completed, and the company’s website is now down.

I tried to contact the company’s namesake creator to get confirmation, but it seems like this is the end of the line for a once-promising high-tech sex toy business.

One of the first of a new breed of female-led, tech-savvy sexual health startups, Lora DiCarlo was launched in 2017. Our writer described it as “a hands-free gadget that employs biomimicry and robotics to assist women reach a blended orgasm by simultaneously stimulating the G-spot and the clitoris” and said it was one of the most innovative products at CES 2019.

However, the Consumer Technology Association (the group responsible for putting on CES) later revoked the honour and barred the firm from participating in the trade event. They claimed at the time that the firm and its products did not “fit a product category.”

It didn’t take long for the inevitable backlash of misogyny, prudery, and poor judgement to follow. Lora DiCarlo told TechCrunch at Disrupt, “I believe they really did us a fairly large favour.” Everyone was on her side and the attention was priceless. Around that time, the firm raised $2 million, and a total of $9 million throughout its first five years of existence.

However, despite making a splashy comeback in 2020 (and scoring a desired, of course), the firm seems to have struggled throughout the pandemic, perhaps due to the same chip shortages and manufacturing challenges that established hardware producers had.

According to Women’s Health, Lora DiCarlo seems to have closed shop in the recent months due to the breakdown of essential business processes. Orders stopped being sent, inventory ran out at retail partners, and employees quit. This month, the site went down and hasn’t been back up yet. Despite the lack of an official statement, it seems that the firm has closed its doors for good.

It’s unfortunate, but the stigma attached to sex toys and the possibility of a global epidemic both work against a hardware firm. If we hear back from DiCarlo, we will update this piece accordingly.