Online luggage brand packs on funding; to open 50 stores, expand product lineup

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Online luggage brand packs on funding; to open 50 stores, expand product lineup

By Marianne Wilson - 05/15/2019
Away is soaring to new heights — with unicorn status.

The fast-growing, direct-to-consumer brand, which designs and manufactures its own luggage, has raised $100 million in a Series D investment round led by Wellington Management, with support from Baillie Gifford, Lone Pine Capital and Global Founders Capital. The round, which brought Away’s total equity funding to $156 million, valued the company at $1.4 billion, giving it unicorn status.

Launched in 2016, female-founded Away had sales of $12 million in its first 12 months, the company said. Sales jumped to $150 million in 2018, and are projected to double this year.

With the latest round of funding, Away plans to grow its physical footprint, opening 50 new stores during the next three years. (The brand currently has locations in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Boston, and London.) It plans to add more products within its existing categories and also develop travel products in new categories, including apparel, wellness and lifestyle accessories.

In addition, Away plans to expand its international business beyond the 39 countries where its products are currently available, growing it ten times over the next three years.

“We've been focused on building not just a beloved and quickly-growing brand, but also on building a strong financial foundation,” said Steph Korey, co-founder and CEO. “With highly profitable unit economics in place both online and offline, the business is primed for strategic expansion across new products, stores, and geographies."

“We launched with that one product in 2016 and quickly set our sights on building a brand that stands for the transformative power of travel,” added Jen Rubio, co-founder and chief brand officer. “This new capital will further fuel our plans to fully build a global community of passionate travelers, and equip them with every product they need to travel more seamlessly.”