Travel brand start-up Away has raised $8.5 million in a Series A fund led by Global Founders Capital.
The latest round also includes participation from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Accel Partners and Comcast Ventures. A new investor in the Series A is Barry Sternlicht. The aggregate raised so far is $11 million. The company said additional investors from the seed round last year include Jay Z, Andy Dunn of Bonobos, Brian Lee of The Honest Co. and Jeff Kearl of Skullcandy and Stance.
Global Founders is the venture capital arm of Europe-based Rocket Internet. It was created to invest in category-leading brands around the world. Global Founders’ Ludwig Ensthaler said, “Our goal is to invest in founders who have an authentic vision and help them scale their business using our global operational expertise.” Ensthaler will join Away’s board of directors, which includes Eurie Kim of Forerunner Ventures.
The company said the funding will enable it to expand its online and brick-and-mortar business in the U.S. and overseas. The company did a test pop-up shop in Manhattan over the summer and is now opening experiential retail concepts in Los Angeles, London and Berlin later this year.
Away’s first product, the Carry-On, became available in February. The company has since expanded to a selection of larger, checked-in bags.
The company is founded by Jen Rubio and Stephanie Korey, two former Warby Parker executives.
Korey said, “By going directly to the consumer the way Warby Parker did for eyewear and Casper did for mattresses, we’re able to offer the highest quality products for a fraction of the $500 to $1,000-plus prices that comparable quality products have.”