Our Investment in Italic
Everyone loves Costco. Knowing that you are probably getting the best price available on a product (15% over cost) and that it was selected by the Costco team as the best in category, gives you peace of mind as a consumer. The cost savings and peace of mind alone are enough to justify the price of membership. Italic is giving members who are looking for premium and luxury goods, that same peace of mind around the quality of products as well as the cost savings (up to 80% less). That’s why it was a no-brainer for Hyphen Capital to invest in Italic.
Millennials differ from previous generations in that they don’t need all the big flashy logos emblazoned across their chest or on their bags. They want their status to be more subtle and discreet. That’s why Italic comes at just the right time, with products made by the same manufacturers as top tier luxury brands but without the markup for the logo. By offering an annual membership, similar to a Costco or Amazon Prime, Italic is able to offer consumers consistent savings while Italic benefits from loyal shoppers. Loyal active users leads to lower acquisition and marketing costs as well as increasing economies scale for stronger negotiating leverage and buying power with vendors and decreasing COGS. From clothing to skincare to home goods to luggage, Italic has curated supply chain relationships with the top vendors in the world. With bags made from the same factories as Prada and Tumi and shoes made from the same factories as Armani and Tod’s, the feedback from customers speaks for itself.
I’ve known Italic founder Jeremy Cai for years since he was a cofounder at Fountain and we were a customer at Pared. I remember first chatting about his idea for Italic at a cafe on Howard Street and was on the edge of my seat. He was going to leverage his unique moat of vendor relationships to create a Brandless for luxury goods. It was brilliant and I knew that if anyone could pull it off, it was Jeremy. You see, Jeremy has an authenticity and genuine passion about building things that is contagious. He is kind, thoughtful and sincerely cares about the brand and culture he is building. He would be an amazing and inspirational leader to work for, but instead I’ll have to settle for investing in him because I would bet on Jeremy any day of the week. I couldn’t be more proud to have Hyphen Capital on the Italic cap table as it becomes the Amazon Prime and Costco of premium products.