Monos, a direct-to-consumer travel lifestyle brand based in Vancouver, has announced the closing of a $40.2 million CAD ($30 million USD) Series B round.
Existing Monos investor Venn Growth Partners led the financing, with participation from Strand Equity—both of which invested in Monos’ $10 million Series A funding round that wrapped up earlier this year.
Clearco co-founder and Dragons’ Den star Michele Romanow is also one of the investors who contributed to the round. Monos is a client of Clearco, initially using the lending platform to fund its digital ad strategy. Later, it started using Clearco to pay for their inventory as well.
Co-founded in 2018 by childhood friends Victor Tam (CEO), Hubert Chan (CCO), and Daniel Shin (COO), Monos initially only focused on offering climate neutral-certified luggage, and expanded into the apparel space last year.
During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Monos reported negative revenue due to refunds and order cancellations. The co-founders of the company estimated that at that time, the business would survive for another 12 months without revenue.
At a time of economic pressure, Monos decided to pivot and innovate, releasing its CleanPod UVC Sterilizer within a short deadline. The product is a portable wand that emits beams of ultraviolet C (UVC) to sanitize surfaces. UVC is a radiation method that uses a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light to neutralize microorganisms, such as bacteria. Monos claims that its device can kill 99.9 percent of germs without the use of chemicals.
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The Globe and Mail reported that Monos hired one of the top tech-focused PR agencies in the United States to market the company’s new sterilizer offering. The agency also focused on social media and leveraged the brand’s e-commerce site, which led the CleanPod Sterilizer to be featured in multiple publications, according to the startup.
This latest infusion of capital, according to Monos, will go toward its inventory to keep up with consumer demand, new product development, recruiting additional talent and “expanding beyond existing channels.”
Fashion brands magnate Marcello Bottoli is also set to join Monos’ board of directors. Bringing over decades of experience from the fashion industry, Bottoli formerly headed Samsonite, Louis Vuitton, and Pandora as their CEO.
Bottoli, along with Ares Management, Bain Capital Partners and Teachers’ Private Capital took Samsonite from near bankruptcy in 2003 to an eventual sale to CVC Capital Partners Group in 2007 in a deal valued at $1.7 billion.
“[Bottoli] is going to be an active, value-added partner as we grow our product line, move into international markets, and expand our channel strategy,” said Chris Reynolds, founder and managing partner at Venn, as well as director at Monos.
Featured image from Monos’ website.