The direct-to-consumer market is ripe for disruption, as we’ve seen time and time again with brands like Casper and Warby Parker innovating the way old-school products are made and sold. Away, one of the newest startups taking a stab at upending retail, is going after the $32 billion global luggage market — and succeeding.
Today, the company announced it raised a $20 million Series B, closely following the $8.5 million Series A it raised in September. Away’s existing investors are doubling down in this round, which was led by Global Founders Capital, Forerunner Ventures, Accel Partners and Comcast Ventures.
The company was launched in 2016 by Steph Korey and Jen Rubio, two former Warby Parker employees who set out to create the perfect suitcase. As a result, Away suitcases feature state-of-the-art designs that use a lightweight polycarbonate, smooth spinner wheels, built-in USB charger and interior compartments. To date, the company has sold nearly 100,000 suitcases.
“We’ve been blown away by our customers’ response to Away, and we couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to raise the capital we need to support our continued growth,” said Korey, the startup's CEO. “We did $20 million in sales in our first 15 months, and are currently at a run rate of $50 million—this far exceeds all of the expectations we had when we first founded the company.”
The company plans on using the funding to expand its product offerings as well as brick-and-mortar retail locations, with the hopes of reaching more customers globally. When asked about the company’s long-term vision, Korey told Built In NYC that Away plans to become the number one global travel brand synonymous with seamless travel. With over 60 people on its team and counting, the company is on its way to do just that, right here in New York.
“New York is the retail, fashion and marketing capital of the world,” said Korey. “Only in New York could you build the team full of brand innovators and executors that we have.”
Images via Away.