Universal Standard — the direct-to-consumer, size-inclusive brand — has secured a $7 million round of funding led by Imaginary, the venture firm founded by Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown.
The Series A round included participation from Red Sea Ventures which led the Seed round in 2015, along with a host of high-profile entrepreneurs including Goop's Gwyneth Paltrow, MatchesFashion founders Tom and Ruth Chapman, Toms founder Blake Mycoskie, SoulCycle's Elizabeth Cutler and Sweetgreen's Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet.
The new capital raised will be used to double-down on existing strategies — including category expansion and fabric innovation — and to grow size offerings, which is set to encompass sizes 6 to 32 in the coming year. There are also plans to amplify awareness via brand marketing, something the company has not explored before, make key executive hires and build a showroom network across the US. (Business of Fashion)
Launched in early December, New York City based beauty startup, Prose, combines automation and human expertise to produce its personalized shampoos, conditioners, and masks.
During the at-home or in-person salon consultation process, the Prose app collects 85 data points that describe a client's current hair conditions, lifestyle, and environment. Prose's A.I. software then uses that data, plus 76 natural ingredients, to generate a custom formula. (Inc.)
Ample Hills has made quite a name for itself leveraging Pop Culture for its special brand of flavors. Founder Brian Smith comments on this:
“Sort of baked into the DNA of Ample Hills from the beginning was a desire that I had to use ice cream to tell stories,” Smith says. “It’d come from creating monsters and trying to figure out how to create a new monster that somebody hadn’t seen before. I didn’t want ice cream flavors to simply be a collection of milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and other ingredients. I wanted to use ice cream flavors as a way to connect people to something that was more resonant and deeper.”
Salad. Suitcases. Razors. Face wash. None of these words typically inspire enthusiasm. But when associated with certain fast-growing enterprises, the reactions can be rapturous. Sweetgreen’s Nicolas Jammet, Away’s Jen Rubio, Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker, and Glossier’s Emily Weiss talk to Fast Company‘s Amy Farley about creating products that provoke passion. (FastCo)
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There are 337 open jobs across 27 companies in the Red Sea Ventures Portfolio network this week.