- Canadian travel and lifestyle brand Monos secured $10 million in a Series A funding round that closed Tuesday, according to a press release.
- Monos, which offers suitcases, bags and accessories, plans on using the funds to expand its offline presence, acquire talent and create a more robust product development pipeline.
- The investment round was led by Venn Growth Partners, per the release. Strand Equity also participated in the funding.
Travel has been one of the pandemic's hardest-hit industries. Despite the challenges, Monos was able to gather like-minded investors to help rapidly scale its operations, an ordeal Monos' CEO and co-founder Victor Tam said was, "no easy task."
"After a groundbreaking year, during a pandemic no less, we are thrilled for the opportunity to continue expanding, innovating and creating an engaging brand experience for our consumers with the support of this investment," Tam said in a statement.
The company said the fundraise also brings in valuable knowledge and guidance from the investors at Venn and Strand.
Like many companies in both retail and travel, Monos had to make a pandemic pivot to keep its business afloat. After hitting its "highest-ever grossing month" in February 2020, Monos' sales paused when COVID began to spread rapidly in March. Monos then shifted its focus to developing the CleanPod UVC Sterilizer, a product that utilizes ultraviolet C light to sanitize surfaces, to address the crisis.
Monos introduced the product to the market in just six weeks, and as a result, its revenue grew 400% year over year in 2020. The company said its momentum and profitability continued into 2021.
Not all companies were as lucky.
Away, one of the most well-known DTC luggage brands, was among them.
In April 2020, the company said sales had fallen 90%, forcing it to lay off 10% of its staff and furlough about half. By November last year, however, the brand said the business was outperforming its revenue expectations, allowing it to return to making growth investments.
Monos has shown "tremendous resilience and growth in spite of the odds," George Song, vice president at Strand Equity, said in a statement. "Monos is leading the charge within the travel industry by providing an accessible price point paired with timeless design and quality that is highly relevant in today’s wanderlust culture."
Founded in 2018, the company's suitcase design is built on a "less is more" philosophy. The company also claims to be the first luggage brand to join the list of companies that are Climate Neutral certified. It also donates 1% of its revenue to non-profit organizations committed to environmental causes as part of 1% for the Planet.