The Fascination, a curated online marketplace that showcases top-emerging, mission-driven brands, has raised a $1 million seed round.
WHO: The Fascination is a curated online marketplace where consumers discover and shop top-emerging, mission-driven brands. Launched in 2020 by Leesa founders David Wolfe and Matt Hayes, The Fascination helps consumers discover high-quality brands and products that align with their values, and features 150+ top-emerging and established brands across direct-to-consumer.
WHY: To accelerate its growth and fund the design and development of its multi-brand online marketplace.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “As CEO of Leesa, I realized consumers need help and validation from trusted reviews when they make a purchase. I also hated the way Amazon commoditizes products by offering cheap lookalike alternatives alongside premium products,” said The Fascination’s CEO David Wolfe. Co-founder and COO Matt Hayes added, “Our brand partners have really embraced us because they love being sold alongside brands they admire in other categories, and they love the value we help create for them. Consumers love The Fascination because they can find all the brands they love in a single place and find new ones they may not have heard of before.”
Kat Cole, former President of Focus Brands and an investor in and advisor to The Fascination, shared her enthusiasm for what The Fascination team is building: “In just a few months, The Fascination has built direct relationships with over 150 top-emerging and established brands across direct-to-consumer. I love the way The Fascination curates brands by their ‘science and soul,’ ensuring each meets standards for high quality and purpose-driven values.”
- Self-funded and launched in late 2020 by ex-Leesa founders David Wolfe and Matt Hayes, The Fascination raised $1 million in seed funding.
- The Fascination’s new investors and members include 20 founders/CEOs of digital businesses, ranging from influencer agencies and email platforms to SEO agencies and brand builders.
- Participants in The Fascination’s seed round include Kat Cole, ex-President of Focus Brands, Taylor Holiday, CEO of Common Thread Collective, John Sutton, President of Red Ventures, Joe Speiser, serial entrepreneur and PetFlow founder, and Gabby Slome, co-founder of Ollie Pets. The Fascination team also boasts DTC investor & operator Nik Sharma and The Hustle founder Sam Parr as founding advisors.
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