Female-Founded Startups Receiving Improved Funding; Swimwear DTC Summersalt Moves Into Travel Goods

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Female-founded startups receiving improved funding; Swimwear DTC Summersalt moves into travel goods; and Monese says ‘Europe is Open’. 

Female-founded startups receiving improved funding

According to Crunchbase data, over USD$20bn (£15bn) has been invested in female-founded and co-founded startups so far in 2019.

Of that USD$20bn, approximately USD$5bn (£4bn) has been invested in female-only founded startups. The remaining USD$15bn (£11bn), according to Crunchbase data, went to startups with female and male co-founders. The year-to-date numbers put 2019 on track to be the second-best year for dollars invested into startups with a female founder and co-founder, excluding the USD$14bn (£10.5bn) outsized round in 2018 into female-founded Ant Financial.

So far this year 44 supergiant rounds (those of USD$100m or more) have gone to female-founded and co-founded companies. That adds up to 11 percent of dollars invested in rounds over USD$100m in the quarter. 

Female founded and co-founded companies also took home 16% of Series A dollars invested in 2019, and the same level of Series B dollars invested in 2019. In 2019 through Q3, 13% of invested venture capital dollars went to female co-founded startups, up from 10% in 2014. The figure, however, is below 2018’s 17%.

Swimwear DTC Summersalt moves into travel goods

Summersalt is the latest direct-to-consumer brand to wade into the burgeoning travel goods market.

The swimwear brand, which expects sales to balloon to USD$40m (£31m) this year, from USD$5.6m (£4.3m) in 2018, plans to launch apparel and accessories next month. The collection includes travel-friendly pants and sweaters, as well as pyjamas, bodysuits and a cashmere travel set.

While spending on clothing has stagnated in recent years, the so-called experiential industry is on the rise: money spent on dining out, entertainment and travel is growing four times faster than spending on goods, according to McKinsey. This trend has inspired a bevy of brands — both traditional fashion labels and direct-to-consumer upstarts — to chase categories such as swimwear, luggage, overnight bags and other travel-adjacent categories.

“As we think about societal shifts on status symbols, travel is at the forefront of consumer’s wallet, just like how athleisure was a few years ago,” said Reshma Chamberlin, who co-founded Summersalt alongside Lori Coulter.

With the right marketing, products are more aligned to lifestyle rather than fashion or function. Brands that excel at this, such as Away with its popular carry-on roller luggage, have been able to steal market share from category incumbents.

Monese says ‘Europe is Open’

Monese has launched its ‘Europe is Open’ campaign. Monese’s new campaign delivers the message that we all need to ensure ‘Europe is Open’ to everyone, whatever happens with Brexit. The campaign encourages consumers to stay connected, whether they are travelling, working, studying or retiring across the UK and Europe, and this begins with keeping your finances connected.


The new campaign from Monese is also a light-hearted play on Sadiq Khan’s ‘London is Open’ campaign, which was launched by the Mayor in 2016. London is Open aimed to show the world that keeping London open and welcome is a job for everyone, as it is home to a huge variety of nationalities and different cultures.

In October, Monese revealed that 46% of non-UK nationals think opportunities to find work is the best thing about living in the UK. Monese wants these opportunities to remain open and we should ensure that moving to and working across the UK and Europe, is as accessible as possible.

Want this in your Inbox? Sign up to our newsletter here!