D2C travel lifestyle brand Monos closes $40.2 million CAD Series B round

After not reporting any revenue when the pandemic broke out, Monos quickly switched to sterilization.

Monos, a Vancouver-based direct-to-consumer travel lifestyle brand, has announced it has closed a CA$40.2 million (US$30 million) Series B round.

Existing Monos investor Venn Growth Partners led the funding, with participation from Strand Equity — both investing in Monos’ $10 million Series A funding round, which closed earlier this year.

Michele Romanow, co-founder of Clearco and Dragons’ Den-Star, is also one of the investors who contributed to the round. Monos is a Clearco customer and is initially using the lending platform to fund its digital advertising strategy. It later began using Clearco to pay for its inventory as well.

Co-founded in 2018 by childhood friends Victor Tam (CEO), Hubert Chan (CCO) and Daniel Shin (COO), Monos initially only focused on offering carbon neutral certified luggage and expanded into the apparel sector in the past year.

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During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Monos reported negative revenue due to refunds and order cancellations. The company’s co-founders estimated at the time that the company would survive another 12 months without revenue.

In a time of economic pressure, Monos decided to make a switch and innovate and launched its CleanPod UVC sterilizer within a short timeframe. The product is a portable wand that emits UV-C (UVC) rays to disinfect surfaces. UVC is an irradiation method that uses a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light to neutralize microorganisms such as bacteria. Monos claims its device can kill 99.9 percent of germs without the use of chemicals.

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The Globe and Mail reported that Monos hired one of the top tech-focused PR agencies in the United States to market the company’s new sterilizer offering. The agency also focused on social media and leveraged the brand’s e-commerce site, which the startup says has resulted in the CleanPod sterilizer being featured in multiple publications.

This latest infusion of capital, according to Monos, will flow into inventory to keep pace with consumer demand, new product development, recruiting of additional talent and “expansion beyond existing channels.”

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Fashion brand magnate Marcello Bottoli is also set to join the Monos board. With decades of experience in the fashion industry, Bottoli was formerly CEO of Samsonite, Louis Vuitton and Pandora.

Bottoli, along with Ares Management, Bain Capital Partners and Teachers’ Private Capital, led Samsonite from near bankruptcy in 2003 to an eventual sale to CVC Capital Partners Group in 2007 for $1.7 billion.

“[Bottoli] will be an active value-added partner as we expand our product line, enter international markets and expand our distribution strategy,” said Chris Reynolds, Founder and Managing Partner of Venn and Director of Monos.

Featured image from the Monos website.

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