DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Seedrs is crowdfunding…on Seedrs; Thinx launches first national TV campaign; and Q3 2019 funding looks positive.
Seedrs is crowdfunding…on Seedrs
In the most meta funding round imaginable, Seedrs is crowdfunding on Seedrs. The online platform, which connects growth investors and growing businesses, has raised just under £3.7m so far (736% of its initial £500k target).
The business has grown at 71.5% per annum over the last two years, with over £400m invested through its platform. Seedrs generates revenue through two sets of fees that align our commercial interests with our customers’ success. Deal fees is a success-based commission fee for businesses raising funds through the platform, while Investor Fees charge investors on profits they make from their investment. How exactly these fees will be applied to Seedrs’ funding round on their own platform, remains to be seen.
The business is looking to expand in Europe, rapidly expanding into what they see as a very underserved market, by launching our full pan-European effort, and in so doing, massively expand the size of our addressable market. The funding will also be used to drive a move “beyond crowdfunding” to become a full-scale marketplace.
Thinx launches first national TV campaign
Thinx Inc, the period solutions company behind Thinx period-proof underwear, is announcing its first-ever US-wide television ad campaign, “MENstruation.” The television campaign asks the question “If we all had periods, would we be more comfortable talking about them?” and includes scenes in which cisgender men are placed in everyday situations people with periods experience and know all too well.
Crystal Rix, Chief Strategy Officer, BBDO New York says: “so much of the industry and culture uses ridiculous euphemisms to talk about periods. We wanted an honest and sincere attempt to build understanding and empathy for people with periods.”
Thinx has also recently secured a USD$25m (£20m) investment from Kimberly-Clark. The investment is expected to get the online brand into more mainstream retailers like Target and Walmart, and will also enable the startup to launch a lower-cost line of period underwear, with prices between USD$15-$19 per pair, versus current prices that are between USD$32-$39. Thinx CEO Maria Molland told the Wall Street Journal that getting the brand into big retailers will ensure consumers know it exists, which she said has been a major hurdle.
Q3 2019 funding looks positive
Global and North American Q3 funding data is looking largely positive, according to Crunchbase. While not record setting, the data appears to be strong, boosted by rising investment at both seed and later stages.
Crunchbase say that Q3 2019 saw a projected USD$4.44bn (£3.63bn) in capital invested at the stage across just under 6,000 rounds. That second tally works out to nearly two-thirds of all rounds in the quarter. This all despite risk warnings flaring up around the world (politics, trade, economic data, etc).
If Seed had a great quarter in terms of deal volume, early-stage investing had the opposite. Early-stage deal volume, according to Crunchbase’s global report, “declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year” while dollars invested in the space rose over both time frames. So, we’re seeing more large early-stage deals but fewer of them. In contrast to the early-stage market, late-stage investing grew in Q3, according to Crunchbase projections.
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