Ettitude, the Los Angeles-based, direct-to-consumer startup making sustainable bedding and sleepwear from bamboo fibers, has raised a sustainably sized round that should keep the company going even in the face of an economic recession.
Co-founded by the Melbourne, Australia native Phoebe Yu and serial entrepreneur Kat Dey, ettitude sells high-end bamboo bedding made using a process she first heard about in her old job working as an exporter helping chain stores source textiles in China.
Sourced from a factory in Zhejiang, China, near Shanghai, the bamboo textiles are made using non-toxic solvents and a closed-loop system that reuses water for the process, according to Yu.
Yu started selling the cleanBamboo-branded bedding under the ettitude label in Melbourne first, but when she saw the orders begin to pick up from the U.S. she relocated and took her company with her.
Upon arrival, Yu realized she’d need a strong co-founder with experience in branding to help her navigate the massive market in the U.S. So Yu turned to AngelList, which is where she found Dey.
A serial entrepreneur with a background in retail, whose first company TryTheWorld was acquired by EarthBox in 2017, Dey was looking for her next project.
“Phoebe sent me a sample and I had the best night of sleep in my life,” Dey said. From then on the two co-founders began the long, hard slog of marketing their business.
Sales are growing, according to the two women, and the company’s chances have certainly been improved by the capital infusion from Drumbeat Ventures and TA Ventures, a European female-founded fund focusing on technology innovation.
The $ 1.6 million financing will be used to boost sales and marketing as the company expands beyond bedding — with an average price of $ 178 for a queen-sized sheet set — and into sleepwear and other categories.
“Phoebe, Kat and their brand, ettitude, are as genuine a combination of passion, purpose, and proprietary product that I’ve seen in the marketplace in my 20 years,” said Drumbeat Ventures founder, Adam Burgoon, in a statement. “They are perfectly positioned to bring their mission of sustainability and comfort to a broader audience.”
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“If your kids aren’t sleeping, you aren’t sleeping,” says Moshi founder and CEO Ian Chambers.
As mindfulness apps grow increasingly popular among adults, Moshi is looking to bring mindfulness and meditative techniques to children. The app today announced the close of a $ 12 million Series B financing led by Accel, with participation from Latitude Ventures (the follow-on sister fund to LocalGlobe) and Triplepoint Capital. Bill Roedy, former MTV CEO, also participated in the round.
As part of the deal, Latitude Ventures’ Julia Hawkins will join the Moshi board.
Moshi was originally born out of Mind Candy, which was founded by Michael Acton Smith (founder and CEO of Calm) who created an online entertainment platform for kids called Moshi Monsters. In 2015, Smith stepped down as CEO to go build Calm, and Moshi CEO Ian Chambers stepped in, ultimately developing and launching Moshi in 2017. Mind Candy is now rebranding to Moshi.
Moshi is an app that helps kids sleep. The app offers close to 150 bits of original content, with 80 original 30-minute bedtime stories written and produced entirely by the company. Leading that charge is Steve Cleverley, the app’s Chief Creative Officer and Director of Dozing, a BAFTA-winning writer who authors, composes and produces each bit of content on the app.
Moshi’s bed time stories all follow a similar formula: verse (narration), chorus (song), and the underlying musical score. Each story is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. For example, one of the app’s most popular stories, “Mr. Snoodle’s Twilight Train” has the ‘chuga-chuga-choo-choo’ of train noise in the background throughout the story. That sound effect is timed up to the average resting heart rate of a child, purposefully lulling them into a restful place.
Moshi has also managed to get celebrities involved in the project, with narrations from Goldie Hawn and Sir Patrick Stewart, alongside other voice over actors.
The app offers parents the ability to create their own custom playlist or choose from a themed playlist within the app, such as ‘Busy Little Minds.’
Beyond sleep, Moshi is also offering mindfulness content to be used during the day, whether it’s for timeout or anxiety management or what have you.
Moshi offers a free one-week trial before charging USD$ 40 annually, with six pieces of content free for anyone.
The company has more than 100,000 subscribers, with 85 million stories played. Chambers told TechCrunch that 70 percent of all stories are completed.
Moshi plans to use the financing to launch new features and content in collaboration with sleep industry experts and scientists, as well as scaling up user acquisition through marketing, advertising and partnerships.
“The reason I get up in the morning to do this, and it sounds a bit cliche, but it’s the feedback,” said Chambers. “It’s the human stories of how we’re helping families to improve how they operate and having a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. That’s what excites us.”