DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Tamara Mellon Brand raises USD$50m (£39.28m), with sales increasing by 136% year-on-year; USD$13m (£10.2m) funding round for AUrate; and Grab invests USD$8m (£6.3m) in London startup Splyt.
Tamara Mellon Brand raises USD$50m (£39.28m), with sales increasing by 136% year-on-year
Tamara Mellon Brand, a luxury DTC women’s footwear company, has announced it has raised USD$50m (£39.28m) in a Series C funding round led by investment firm Centricus, bringing total funding in the company up to approximately USD$87m (£68.4m). The funding is reportedly due to be used to support manufacturing, brand growth, and expanding the team to a total of 60 employees by the end of the year. The company, led by the eponymous Tamara Mellon, who co-founded the Jimmy Choo brand, also announced that sales had increased by 136% year-on-year.
“Tamara and I are thrilled to have Centricus join our impressive group of investors,” said Tamara Mellon Brand co-founder Jill Layfield. “They are a smart and thoughtful team with an incredibly important global perspective. We are also very grateful to our customers and employees who have been with us for an amazing two-and-a-half years, and can’t wait for what comes next.”
USD$13m (£10.2m) funding round for AUrate
DTC jewellery brand AUrate has announced a fundraising round of USD$13m (£10.2m), aimed at expanding the company outside of its US heartland into Europe and the Middle East. Investors involved in the round included the Arab Angel Fund, Bluecrest Capital, and Point King Capital. While the company does not publicly disclose its revenue, it has revealed that it has grown by nearly 400% since a USD$2.6m (£2.04m) funding round which took place in 2017.
Speaking on the plans to expand AUrate, co-founder Bouchra Ezzahraoui said, “if you want to become a real luxury brand, you have to have that international appeal. When you talk to investors, they ask what will the brand look like in 10 years. Anyone can open a store online and start selling here, but luxury brands are all international. The fact that all of our stuff is made in the U.S. is a stamp of trust, but we want to be a global brand.”
Grab invests USD$8m (£6.3m) in London startup Splyt
Ride-sharing giant Grab has invested USD$8m (£6.3m) in transport software startup Splyt, allowing Grab users outside of Singapore to book drivers from local ride-hailing firms. Ctrip and Alipay customers visiting Southeast Asia already have access to Grab rides through their respective apps. Phillip Mintchin, chief executive of Splyt, stated that the deal with Grab “caters to the demands and needs of global travellers”. Partnering with Splyt will give Grab access to ride-share inventory across more than 1,000 cities across the globe.
Founded in 2015, London-based Splyt has now raised over USD$14m (£11m) and has a total of 50 staff. Current partners include ride-hailing firm Careem, recently acquired by Grab rival Uber, along with fintech firm Alipay.