Away, a direct-to-consumer luggage retailer, has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $81 million. Existing investorsGlobal Founders Capital, Forerunner Ventures and Comcast Ventures led the round.
With the funding, Away plans to:
- Expand its U.S. physical retail footprint with six new stores by the end of 2018. Away has four locations, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin, Texas;
- Extend to new global markets and expand its product line;
- Build on its existing social impact efforts (through its partnership with Peace Direct and through new initiatives); and
- Create 249 new jobs over the next five years, transitioning the team into a new 56,000-square-foot global headquarters in New York City.
Away launched in February of 2016 with an initial investment of $2.5 million and one product, The Carry-On. Co-Founders Jen Rubio and Steph Korey set out to create “first-class luggage at a coach price” while focusing on customer relationships. The companyhas since expanded to a whole array of items for travel, from aluminum suitcases to garment bags and packing cubes.
“Today’s consumers are looking for more than just a great product, they’re looking for a brand that aligns with their values and that takes the time to truly understand their needs as people, not just customers,” said Jen Rubio, Co-Founder, President and Chief Brand Officer of Away in a statement. “Away launched with the underlying belief that we can change the way people travel by inspiring people to do it more, and by making it even easier. In two years, we’ve built deep relationships with each and every one of our customers as a direct-to-consumer brand, and we’ve used their feedback to drive what’s next for Away. That’s what we’ll continue to do until we’ve fixed everything currently wrong with the travel experience.”
Within two years of launch Away had already reached profitability, and the company generated more than 5X revenue growth from 2016 to 2017. The travel brand has sold more than 500,000 suitcases to date, with store sales-per-square foot reaching $4,000, according to Adweek.
“We’re building a brand for the long-term and, to do that, we’ve prioritized creating a strong financial foundation and a company that thinks about what we can offer as being so much more than any one product,” said Steph Korey, Co-Founder and CEO of Away in a statement. “We’ve embraced change as a constant, used data to inform our intuition, and iterated based on insights from our global community and their unique needs.”