Personal styling and retail platform Trunk Club has raised $11 million in Series funding led by U.S. Venture Partners with Greycroft Partners, Apex Venture Partners, and Anthos Capital also participating in the round.
As we wrote in our previous coverage on Trunk Club, the startup pivoted from being a way that men could hire their own personal shopper via Skype video sessions to building a group of professional stylists on staff who coordinate with clients via phone and email, and actually purchase goods for clients from retailers.
A gentlemen can sign up via the website, pick preselected looks, and answer a small questionnaire with questions like “where do you shop right now?,” “what’s your favorite item in your closet,” sizes, price and color preferences and more. A stylist will then call/contact the customers via their preferred method of communication. Once the stylist gets an idea of the customer’s style, he or she will send a “trunk,” of clothes and ship out via Fedex a handpicked collection of shoes, pants, shirts, and more.
Once the customer receives the order, he can try on the items and send back the clothes he doesn’t like in a prepackaged box. The customer is only charged for the clothes he keeps and isn’t charged for any shipping costs. Outside of of Illinois, customers don’t pay sales tax either.
Trunk Club, which has over 3,500 active clients, buys clothing at wholesale and sells it at a normal retail markup. There are no sales/discounts on clothes and Trunk Club stocks its own inventory. Customers don’t pay anything extra for them as they would in a fancy department store.
Trunk Club’s CEO Brian Spaly has considerable experience in the online retail world. You may remember Spaly from Bonobos, a recently-funded startup that makes custom-fit pants for men. Spaly and Andy Dunn founded Bonobos together and parted ways due to differences in vision.
The company is also launching a brand new customer center where users can now request additional orders on-demand based on current needs, provide detailed feedback on items in previous orders, and manage their clothing preferences in an interface. The new feature will also utilize data around each customer’s unique preferences to provide targeted recommendations with every order. Spaly says he is trying to bring the Netflix model of contextual suggestions to clothing. The new funding will be used for additional hiring marketing, and further expansion.
In the end, Spaly explains “Trunk Club about helping guys never have to go to the mall again.”