Every retailer pitches themselves as consumer-centric, but Betabrand believes they have the recipe for success when it comes to brand-to-consumer communication. And now the crowdfunding clothing company has some funds to back it up, too.
The San Francisco-based startup announced Wednesday (Oct. 21) that it has secured $15 million in funding from both Morgan Stanley and Foundry Group, bringing its total funding amount to $29 million. Chris Lindland, founder and CEO of the brand that uses consumer opinions and feedback to help guide its designers’ hands when creating products, said in a statement that Betabrand is all about recreating traditional retail relationships.
“Unlike the traditional fashion world, where designers wait 12-16 months to see their creations unveiled to consumers, Betabrand involves customers from the very start,” Lindland said. “On our platform, designers can see their ideas go from concept sketch to crowdfunding prototype in a matter of weeks."
Lindland noted that this most recent round of funding will be used to onboard more designers and finetune its prototyping and development processes. However, Betabrand will have to balance its desire to grow internally with a slew of recent projects, notably partnerships with video game developer Valve Corporation for gamer-inspired apparel and 3M for reflective women’s wear.
“There are no ‘collections,’ no ‘seasons,’ no pre-determined ‘merch mix’ [to direct what you will wear],” Lana Hogue, director of product development and production at Betabrand, told Apparel magazine. “This is the future of the apparel industry.”
If Betabrand is going to revolutionize fashion as we know it, it might need a tad more than $29 million to do it. However, with another $15 million under its belt and new product ideas from consumers every day, Betabrand is now one step closer to building its vision.