After taking the runway at New York Fashion Week, fashion tech is making a play for the bedroom. A new collection of underthings and intimates startups are stripping down to basics — and venture investors are seeing 50 shades of green.
It’s not a lot of money yet, but the surge in seed funding over the past two years indicates growing investor interest in tech-enabled basics brands. From a16z to First Round, over 100 venture firms and angel investors closed deals for underwear startups since 2012, according to CrunchBase data.
MeUndies has raised over $1 million in venture cash to deliver trendy underwear to hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide — and Lalezarian says they’re currently raising more. A handful of bold marketing moves, including a sponsorship for crotch-grabbing football star Marshawn Lynch and a collection of photo ads deemed too sexual for Facebook, have generated a lot of recent attention for the three-year-old startup.
“If you think about the tools that we have today with social media — Instagram, Snapchat, obviously Facebook and Twitter — there are a lot of unique ways we can connect directly to customers to deliver our message, tell our story, and sell our brand, and those didn’t exist 20 years ago when companies like Gap and Victoria’s Secret got started,” says Lalezarian.
According to CrunchBase data, underthings startups have closed 22 venture rounds since 2013 — the majority of which are…