One-year-old online fragrance start-up Phlur secures $1.45 million funding extension, bringing its aggregate raise to $6 million.
WHO: Launched in June 2016, Phlur is an Austin, Texas-based vertically integrated online fragrance brand. The brand was founded by Eric Korman, a former president for Ralph Lauren digital and global e-commerce and RetailMeNot board member. Phlur was created with the intention of disrupting how consumers buy fragrance. Visual mood boards with corresponding music represent the inspiration and feeling of the brand’s six unisex scents; this guides the consumer selection process. The brand allows consumers to “audition” the scents on their skin for a $10 fee which is applied toward the cost of the full-size bottle of fragrance, which retails for $85.
IN THIER OWN WORDS: Korman told WWD, “We completed [more than] 25,000 orders and we are gaining momentum every week.” He said the latest investment round will be used to fund existing operations, fund customer growth, and extend its product offerings later this year.
- Next Coast Ventures, an Austin-based venture capital firm, led the $1.45 million raise along with new investors to the business Farah, former co-chief executive officer of Tory Burch and former vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of Ralph Lauren; Joey Levin, CEO of media firm IAC, and Cotter Cunningham, CEO of RetailMeNot.
- August 2016, Phlur closed on a $1.8 million convertible debt raise, comprised of a continuation of commitments from existing investors who participated in its seed round.
- June 2015 seed round of $2.7 million.
- According to the brand the web site conversion rate is up 40 percent since its June 20, 2016, launch date; web site traffic is up five times and nearly 20 percent of consumers who buy one full bottle also purchase a second bottle. Patrick Yee, the CEO of Laird & Partners, and a former executive vice president of marketing and strategy at Refinery 29, and Jessica Hendricks Yee, the founder of The Brave Collection, a line of handmade jewelry, have joined Phlur as advisors.