Away nears 100K stylish suitcases sold as it raises $20M

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What do folks truly need in baggage? A phone charger, unbreakable exterior, and most packing area at a resonable price is what Away found. So it constructed a line of smooth however expansive polycarbonite suitcases outfitted with battery packs, and sold them direct-to-consumer.

Now after promoting almost 100,000 suitcases and producing $20 million in income, Away has raised a $20 million Sequence B led by present investor International Founders Capital plus Forerunner Ventures, Comcast Ventues, and Accel Companions. They have been attracted by Away’s $50 million income run fee and powerful unit economics that ought to make it worthwhile this yr.

The money brings Away to $31 million raised, and can fund its entry into retail with plans to open 4 to 6 retail shops. Subsequent, Away seeks to develop into a way of life model with its new podcast and forthcoming print and digital journal.

Lastly, Away will develop its product line from the 2 carry-on and two checked baggage items it at the moment makes. Co-founder Jen Rubio inform me Away plans to “make the one-perfect all the things that you simply want for journey.” Whereas she wouldn’t give specifics, you might think about the startup promoting an Away toiletry equipment.

Away co-founders (from left): Steph Korey and Jen Rubio

By making use of lean startup methodology and the direct-to-consumer strategy Rubio and co-founder Steph Korey realized as a few of the first 15 staff at Warby Parker, Away is shaking up the stodgy baggage market. The corporate has grown to 66 staff in New York since launchng simply 15 months in the past. That’s as a result of it initially targeted on buyer surveys to seek out the wants unfulfilled by over-priced luxurious baggage, ugly utility merchandise, and funds manufacturers whose suitcases brokedown shortly

I’ve been testing Away’s checked and carry-on baggage and located them to hit the candy spot between its rivals. The shells don’t crack or dent below abuse. The phone charger with external USB plug on the carry-on is beneficial while you don’t need to sit on the ground of an airport. They usually match a outstanding quantity of stuff in a compact package deal. And since you purchase them straight from Away, moderately than marked-up by a third-party retailer, the $225 to $245 carry-ons and $275 to $295 checked luggage are a great bang for his or her buck.

My greatest criticism is since they feature a tough exterior clam shell design, it’s important to totally unzip the bag to have the ability to jam one thing in last-minute. However Rubio says Away has heard that suggestions and the startup is growing a product to handle it. There are definitely first rate high quality alternate options at a lower price. For the reason that shell is light-weight, it can really feel slightly flimsy. Nonetheless, no different baggage has taken the beating I dish out with so little seen wear-and-tear.

Baggage may not be the sexiest enterprise, and its removed from a standard software startup. But Away proves there are many commerce markets left to disrupt if corporations are prepared to take heed to what clients actually need.

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