What do individuals truly need in baggage? A telephone charger, unbreakable exterior, and most packing house at a resonable value is what Away found. So it constructed a line of smooth however expansive polycarbonite suitcases outfitted with battery packs, and bought 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 charge and robust 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 turn into a life-style 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 present makes. Co-founder Jen Rubio inform me Away plans to “make the one-perfect the whole lot that you simply want for journey.” Whereas she wouldn’t give specifics, you may think about the startup promoting an Away toiletry package.
By making use of lean startup methodology and the direct-to-consumer technique Rubio and co-founder Steph Korey discovered as a number of the first 15 workers at Warby Parker, Away is shaking up the stodgy baggage market. The corporate has grown to 66 workers in New York since launchng simply 15 months in the past. That’s as a result of it initially targeted on buyer surveys to search 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 beneath abuse. The telephone charger with exterior USB plug on the carry-on is helpful if you don’t need to sit on the ground of an airport. And so they match a outstanding quantity of stuff in a compact package deal. And since you purchase them straight from Away, fairly than marked-up by a third-party retailer, the $225 to $245 carry-ons and $275 to $295 checked luggage are an excellent bang for his or her buck.
My largest criticism is since they characteristic a tough exterior clam shell design, you must absolutely 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 creating a product to handle it. There are actually first rate high quality options at a lower price. For the reason that shell is light-weight, it will probably really feel just a little flimsy. Nonetheless, no different baggage has taken the beating I dish out with so little seen wear-and-tear.
Baggage won’t be the sexiest enterprise, and its removed from a standard software program startup. But Away proves there are many commerce markets left to disrupt if corporations are prepared to take heed to what prospects really want.