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Let's call it the Billion Dollar Shave Club

Unilever reportedly paid $1 billion for Dollar Shave Club, propelling the razor blade service into unicorn territory -- in real money.

Close up of razor dipping in water
Getty Images/Caiaimage

We did not see that coming: Unilever late Tuesday said it's buying Dollar Shave Club, the online subscription service that got its start selling inexpensive razor blades.

Unilever didn't disclose financial terms, but people "briefed on the matter" told The New York Times the European conglomerate -- whose US brands include Dove, Hellman's and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter -- paid $1 billion in an all-cash deal. That $1 billion price tag happens to be the magic number that turns a private company into a unicorn, when investors calculate its value from how much funding it's received.

Can a unicorn be a unicorn when its value is based on real money?

Founded in 2012, Dollar Shave Club first caught people's attention with its funny, off-the-wall YouTube videos narrated by CEO Michael Dubin. The company now has 3.2 million members, Unilever said in a statement announcing the purchase. Dubin will stay on as CEO of Dollar Shave Club, the companies said.