Technology has a way of making things that have historically been accessible to the wealthy and connected a bit more within reach to the rest of us. Uber’s done it with limos, Fancy Hands with personal assistant services, Everlane with luxury-caliber t-shirts.
Trumaker is another startup in this realm, with the aim of bringing made-to-measure men’s clothing to the mainstream. And the company just closed on $6.5 million to scale out its service nationwide.
The raise, which was led by Javelin Venture Partners with participation from RRE Ventures and others, serves as Trumaker’s Series A. This brings the total investment in the San Francisco-based Trumaker to $8.4 million.
As I wrote back in June 2013 when the company closed its seed round, Trumaker is focusing on made-to-measure in the casual space, starting with the kinds of button-down shirts men wear with jeans. The company has no brick and mortar stores: Instead, it employs contractors called “Outfitters” who come to clients wherever they are and take their measurements to ensure a proper fit. The Outfitter then programs those measurements into Trumaker’s mobile app, along with the customer’s custom order. His measurements are stored in his personal profile so he can order more shirts online by himself.
Right now, Trumaker has Outfitters in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orange County, Boulder, and Milwaukee. In an interview this week, Trumaker CEO Mark Lovas said that the new funding will be used to expand into other metropolitan markets nationwide. The funding will also be used to build out Trumaker’s full-time staff, which is currently at around 15 employees, and further hone its technology platform.
Eventually, Lovas says the company plans to add more products such as sweaters and belts, but for the near-term Trumaker’s focus is staying on shirting.
Trumaker is not the only company looking to lead the next generation of made-to-measure men’s apparel. J. Hilburn, which was founded in 2007 and has raised some $26 million from backers including Battery Ventures, is one of the most prominent existing players in the space. Lovas says that Trumaker is set apart from J. Hilburn and others in that it has had an e-commerce focus from the start. He also says that the style of the Trumaker brand is unique, in that it’s more casual than other made-to-measure offerings.
Overall, though, Lovas says that there is more than enough space for many brands to succeed. In the same way that brick-and-mortar has had room for J. Crew and Banana Republic and Land’s End and Club Monaco and so many others, the e-commerce apparel landscape should be able to accommodate a variety of brands. It may sound like an almost naive kumbaya kind of sentiment to hear from a CEO, but it also makes a lot of sense.
Lovas swung by TechCrunch headquarters to talk about the fund raise and Trumaker’s plans for the future.