In the world of direct-to-consumer luggage startups, there are winners and losers. Last week, I wrote about how Raden, a three-year-old smart-luggage startup, shuttered, only weeks after a similar brand, Bluesmart, ceased operations.
But against this backdrop, two-year-old Away is thriving. The brand just announced that it is adding 249 jobs over the next five years in a major expansion. It will relocate its headquarters to a cavernous 56,000-square-foot space on 82 Mercer Street in New York’s Soho neighborhood. To support this expansion, New York State will provide away with $4 million in performance-based tax credits. The new jobs will be across many functions, including customer service, product development, and editorial.
Jennifer Rubio and Stephanie Korey [Photo: courtesy of Away]Away has has a remarkable growth trajectory. It was founded by Stephanie Korey and Jennifer Rubio, who met as colleagues at Casper. The company has raised $31 million in capital by VCs that include Global Founder’s Fund, Forerunner Ventures, and Comcast Ventures.
The brand launched with a high-quality hardshell suitcase, in both carry-on and checked sizes. But it’s now expanded into a range of other products, like toiletry bags and smaller bags that count as “personal items” on flights. In an interesting twist, the brand has also launched an editorial division that produces a print magazine and a podcast.
Epic Games had $100 million burning a hole in its proverbial pocket, and the company has decided to use that cash to begin building up the esports scene for its megapopular battle royale shooter Fortnite. This is an astronomical investment in competitive gaming and the future of Fortnite, and it is a clear sign from […]