The Chicago-based company, which was launched by the dynamic husband and wife duo Liz and Dan Salcedo, has returned with a clutch wallet that doubles as an smartphone holder and charger and a fresh seed round of just under $1 million from SOS Ventures, angel investors, and friends and family to develop its next generations of wearable fashion technology.
In the time since they launched the first product, the two spent time in the Shenzhen, China-based hardware accelerator program HAXLR8R, developing their manufacturing connections to compliment the fashion network the two have been building in the U.S. and Europe.
“They have a whole roadmap of different things that they’re going to do over time,” says Michael Silton, the executive chair of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund and an angel investor in Everpurse. “If you look at how technology is becoming an integral part of our life — and the fact that fashion always has been — bringing those two worlds together means there’s so much that can happen.”
At a coffee shop in New York City, the two founders laid out their plans for creating technologies that would embed into purses, wallets, and other fashion accessories.
“We know that charging is a good first step, but it’s just a foot in the door,” says Liz Salcedo, a former social worker turned entrepreneur.
Silton and the Salcedos don’t think that Everpurse will have a huge run as a fashion company. Instead, the founders and their backers see the development of their branded accessories as a way to prove their concept to larger fashion houses that can adopt the technology.
“Like all startups that are building a platform that is going to be integrated into other companies’ products, they need to add new features and new functionality,” says Silton. “The great thing that they’ve done with their strategy is they’ve gotten real world feedback from customers that they can take to fashion houses.”
Currently, Everpurse is selling the charging wallet for $129, but has an embedded electronics technology that it is discussing inserting into purses for smaller fashion houses over the next few months. The products could see store shelves within a few years, according to the two founders.
Using a flexible chipset with bluetooth and a central processing unit along with an RFID beacon, the company’s next generation of products will not only keep track of purses, but also the cosmetics inside purses, and determine whether a handbag or accessory is counterfeit or not, says Dan Salcedo.
“We’re at the tip of the iceberg,” Silton says. “Power is not an exciting feature, but changing the way you think about powering your phone is. And more and more capabilities are going to be expected in our clothing and in our accessories.”