Apparel maker Betabrand raises $15 million

October 21, 2015 11:39 AM

Apparel maker and e-retailer Betabrand Inc., No. 727 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Second 500 Guide, has raised $15 million from Morgan Stanley and Foundry Group, the San Francisco-based company said Wednesday. Betabrand has raised $29 million to date.

Betabrand, which has one store in San Francisco, uses the crowdfunding model made popular by Kickstarter Inc. in an e-commerce context, letting customers decide with their wallets which products make it to market. Betabrand designs, manufactures and sells goods based on beta tests shown to consumers who visit its e-commerce site.

The company, which sells more than 300 crowd-created products online, said the new funding round will go toward “investment in prototyping and hundreds of new collaborations with designers from all over the world.”

Last week, Betabrand launched design collaborations with Valve Corp., a video game development and digital distribution company, to develop clothing geared toward gamers, and with global manufacturer 3M Corp. to inject its Scotchlite reflective material into women’s fashion.

In the traditional fashion world, designers wait 12-16 months to see their creations unveiled to consumers, founder Chris Lindland says. “On our platform, designers can see their ideas go from concept sketch to crowdfunding prototype in a matter of weeks,” he says.

Betabrand had Internet Retailer-estimated 2014 web sales of $12 million, up 100% from 2013, and was listed in the 2014 edition of The Hot 100.




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