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Cymbiotika Expands Markets, Products

SUPPLEMENTS: Company on Pace to Reach $100M 2023 Revenue

San Diego-based supplements company Cymbiotika LLC is digesting a healthy dose of global expansion.

“We’re crushing it,” said CEO Shahab Elmi. “The international stuff has been great for us.”

Shahab Elmi
CEO
Cymbiotika LLC

The company officially launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market in May of this year, becoming the first health and wellness brand to introduce a hassle-free shopping experience to UAE residents by eliminating custom fees and offering pricing in local currency.

“By eliminating custom fees and offering localized pricing, we are breaking barriers and making it easier for UAE residents to prioritize their well-being,” Elmi said.

The UAE launch was more than two years in the making to reformulate Cymbiotika’s supplements to match UAE’s regulations on health products. With the launch, the company has both a UAE office and a warehouse that went online in June.

The UAE expansion follows last year’s launch in Canada as a stand-alone business, which is currently outpacing its U.S. business growth at the “same maturity level,” Elmi said.

Cymbiotika completed its first warehouse and fulfillment center and just finished registration with Canadian health officials to sell in retail there.

The UAE launch was more than two years in the making to reformulate Cymbiotika’s supplements to match UAE’s regulations on health products. With the launch, the company has both a UAE office and a warehouse that went online in June.

The company also previously expanded into the United Kingdom with direct fulfillment, local warehouse, local marketing and a dedicated UK website to process orders in British in pounds.

Cymbiotika has also begun reaching into Australia, Elmi said, but that expansion has been slower because basic organic materials used in its U.S. products are considered medicines there and face more stringent regulations. The company is reformulating some of its products with the goal to launch in Australia next year.

The company has also set its sights on the European Union and is in the process of raising its very first institutional funding round to get there.

“Once that’s completed, probably early next year, we’ll have enough money to do this correctly, specifically with the EU,” Elmi said. “The EU will be our biggest international expansion.”

Rapid, Robust Revenue Growth

The success of Cymbiotika’s international expansion is not surprising for a company that in four years has seen rapid and robust year-over-year revenue growth in the neighborhood of 700% over the last three years.

“From 2019 on, we’ve never had a losing year,” Elmi said.

Elmi co-founded Cymbiotika with his childhood friend and equal partner in the company Chervin Jafarieh in 2018. After Elmi sold off his previous business, owning 173 Cricket Wireless stores, he took the role of managing partner and CEO of the supplement company to help grow and modernize it.

That year, Elmi brought over some of his team from the Cricket Wireless business and spent the year learning about the supplement industry. Still, the company posted $1 million in revenue.

In 2020, Cymbiotika built its first office – in middle of the pandemic when other companies were downsizing.

“That’s one thing that’s helped us,” Elmi said. “We’ve gone against the current on almost everything – not because we’re brilliant, but because when you’re the new guy in town, smaller and self-funded, you have to go against the flow and hope and pray you get a little lucky along the way.”

That year, the company hired its first group of employees “and did about $4.5 million in revenue,” Elmi added.

In 2021, Cymbiotika increased its ad budget, which led to its “first big jump” in revenue – from $4.5 million to $15 million.

Last year, the company moved into its current office, hired “a bunch more incredibly talented people,” Elmi said, and added more money to marketing and went to $41 million in revenue.

“And this year we’re poised to break that nine-figure number ($100 million),” he added. “We’re still a very small business compared to the big guys but in the small business world, it’s a very big thing.”

Healthy Products

Elmi said the key to Cymbiotika’s growth is that the company has developed into “a lifestyle movement” with “a unique, loyal following.” The company is primarily a B2C, with about 91% of its sales coming from subscriptions that have maintained a high rate of retention.

Cymbiotika is also ramping up its push into retail stores. The company recently signed a deal with The Vitamin Shoppe and over the next six months will be added to 300-400 outlets. Cymbiotika’s supplements can also be found in Costco, Whole Foods and regional outlets like Jimbo’s. Next year the company plans to expand into more big retail stores according to its five-year plan developed in 2019, Elmi said. “And we’re right on schedule.”

Cymbiotika’s core supplement products utilize a unique technology called liposomal that yields 85-90% uptake of the vitamin in the body.

“It basically encapsulates the vitamin into a food,” Elmi said. “For example, if the body takes in vitamin C it thinks it’s an orange. If it takes in B12, it thinks it’s a grape.”

Over the next four months, Cymbiotika will be adding to its line with the roll out of several new verticals. The first is a line of 100% organic home and personal care products – items like shampoos, lotions and cleaning products, Elmi said. The company will also be launching a line of organic pet products and in the fall will launch a children’s line of supplements designed for specific ages from babies to teens.

Cymbiotika LLC

Founded: 2018
CEO: Shahab Elmi
Headquarters: San Diego
Business: Health supplements and products
Revenue: $41 million (2022)
Employees: 100
Website: https://cymbiotika.com/ 
Social Impact: Cymbiotika’s DHA/Omega products are vegan and made from algae, which the company estimates save around 12,000 fish annually.
Notable: Cymbiotika supplements with liposomal yeild 85-90% uptake of the vitamin in the body.

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