DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: The Vegan Kind funding to meet growing demand; Ancestry lays off staff as genetic testing market falters; and Rad Power Bikes closes USD$25m round.
The Vegan Kind funding to meet growing demand
The Vegan Kind, an online vegan and plant-based supermarket and subscription box service, has entered overfunding on Seedrs. The business initially looked to raise £300k, but has now raised over £373k.
The Vegan Kind has generated more than £5.6m in revenue, and it stocks more than 4,500 different vegan and plant-based products ranging from household to beauty, vegan cheese, plant-based bacon, and even doughnuts. The company has thousands of customers across the UK and beyond, a social following of more than half a million people, and have shipped out over 130,000 orders in 2019 alone. Their mission is to become the UK’s leading online vegan retailer.
Although they have not taken on any funding to date, the number of vegans has quadrupled in the last four years, meaning they are now ready to scale the business. Two-thirds of the funds raised will be allocated towards marketing and branding, with 20% going towards expanding the team, and the remaining 20% on warehouse expansion.
Ancestry lays off staff as genetics testing market falters
The move from Ancestry follows job cuts at 23andMe in late January, which saw 100 staffers lose their jobs (or roughly 14% of its workforce).
The genetic testing company Illumina has been warning of softness in the direct to consumer genetic testing market, as Business Insider reported last August.
“We have previously based our DTC expectations on customer forecasts, but given unanticipated market softness, we are taking an even more cautious view of the opportunity in the near-term,” the company’s chief executive Francis deSouza said in a second quarter earnings call.
Consumers seem to be waking up to the privacy concerns over how genetic tests can be used.
“You can cancel your credit card. You can’t change your DNA,” Matt Mitchell, the director of digital safety and privacy for the advocacy organisation Tactical Tech, told Business Insider earlier in the year.
Rad Power Bikes closes USD$25m round
Rad Power Bikes, a Seattle-based e-bike brand, closed USD$25m in funding led by Vulcan Capital and Durable Capital Partners LP. The funding will support new brick and mortar retail locations around the world, along with expansion of the company’s mobile service and white glove delivery offerings.
Rad Power Bikes is the largest electric bike brand in North America, with more than 100,000 owners across 30 countries and a full lineup of e-bikes packed with power, comfort, and utility for both personal and commercial use.
This round of funding comes nearly a year after Rad Power Bikes secured a private investment from Darrell Cavens and Mark Vadon, Seattle-area entrepreneurs and co-founders of the e-commerce retailer Zulily.
Leading the investment is Stuart Nagae, Director at Vulcan Capital and early Rad Power Bikes customer. He said “This additional capital will enable the company to broaden its market, accelerate growth and continue to deliver the exceptional experience today’s customers expect.”
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