Trendy luggage brand Away packs on $100M, rolls past $1.4B valuation

Away‘s new lofty valuation proves how far you can get with excellent branding.

The direct-to-consumer seller of Instagrammable luggage has collected $100 million in Series D funding at a $1.4 billion valuation in a round led by Wellington Management, with support from Baillie Gifford, Lone Pine Capital and Global Founders Capital, reports The Wall Street Journal.

We’ve reached out to Away for comment.

The capital will be used to build additional brick-and-mortar stores, as well as add to Away’s portfolio of merchandise with an eye toward expanding into generic travel gear. To date, Away has sold more than 1 million suitcases.

“When someone’s going on a trip, we want to make everything that they need to go on on that trip,” Away co-founder and chief brand officer Jen Rubio said recently on NPR’s How I Built This podcast.

Rubio’s eye for branding and social media expertise has bolstered the company, as has various celebrities’ early adoption of the brand. Rubio got her start at Warby Parker as the company’s head of social media. In 2015, she brought her idea for a modern luggage company to Steph Korey, Warby’s former head of supply chain.

Away’s new valuation, up from $400 million in 2018, firmly places Away into the unicorn club. It joins several other recently added female-founded companies to the exclusive group, such as Rent the Runway and Glossier.

Here’s a closer look at its funding history, via PitchBook:

August 2015: $2.5 million seed round at a $7.2 million valuation
September 2016: $8.5 million Series A at a $40 million valuation
May 2017: $20 million Series B at a $120 million valuation
June 2018: $50 million Series C at a $400 million valuation
May 2019: $100 million at a $1.4 billion valuation

Away has brought in a total of $181 million, including the latest investment. Previously, Away raised a $50 million Series C and claimed in the announcement that it had already hit profitability, a notable accomplishment for a startup that was still shy of three years old.

Away is backed by Forerunner Ventures, Accel, Battery Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Shawn Carter, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Karlie Kloss.

Butterfield and Rubio are romantically linked and perhaps soon-to-be married? The well-known Slack executive tweeted shortly after the WSJ story on Away broke asking Rubio to marry him. She has yet to announce her response.

All in a day’s work.