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October 11, 2019
October 11, 2019

The new millennial DTC candle start-up Otherland raised a $2.7 million seed round led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures.

WHO: Founded in 2017 by Columbia Business School alums CEO Abigail Cook Stone and COO Sayyid Markar, Otherland is a direct-to-consumer candle brand aimed at the self-care obsessed generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings. The five-candle collection retails single candles for $36, while customers can save up to $19 on a 3-pack bundle. Each order comes with a coordinating matchbox, and gift-givers can add a personalized note card and matchbox.

WHY: Otherland plans to use the funding toward building out an omnichannel distribution, product development, and expanding the team.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Initially, we weren’t sure if going the venture route was right for Otherland, so we wanted to wait before making that decision,” Stone explained to Fortune. “The time horizon for return on investment is a lot shorter for venture funding, and there’s a lot of additional pressure there that doesn’t make sense for every business. We needed to carefully consider it and get some initial data before going down the venture path.”

“The candle industry is old-school in the sense that scent has always been thought to be the primary driver of purchase, and we’ve managed to breakthrough with a customer base that makes, on average, nearly three purchases a year without even smelling our product,” Stone continued. “We’ve created a brand built to be successful in the modern world: to be discovered, engaged with, bought, shared and scaled through digital channels.”

“There’s a clear demand for a thoughtful, considered product that people can open, experience, and immediately relate to. Abigail’s sharp approach to redefining how we consider and buy candles shows a vision that speaks to today’s wellness-focused society,” wrote Philip Krim, CEO and co-founder of Casper, in a statement. “Plus, it doesn’t hurt that her product and company are taking on an industry gap and specifically catering to the millennial home decor space.”


  • Otherland raised $2.7 million in a new seed round.
  • The round was led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Correlation Ventures, and Cleo Capital. Otherland previously raised funding from individual angel investors and family offices that include all five co-founders of mattress brand Casper; Venmo co-founder Iqram Magdon Ismail; Nadia Boujarwah & Lydia Gilbert of plus-size personal styling start-up Dia & Co.; and Red Antler.

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