Coming into Fashion
By Eric Liaw, Jules Maltz, Roseanne Wincek and Jason Kong
Today, IVP is excited to announce our investment in Lulus, a leading, digitally native apparel brand for millennial women (and those who are millennial at heart). IVP led a $120 million round alongside Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). We’ve had the opportunity to support amazing entrepreneurs building disruptive consumer companies such as Glossier, The Honest Company, Snap, Supercell and Twitter, among others. We believe Lulus is well on its way and are looking forward to partnering with the Lulus team, CPPIB, and existing investor H.I.G. Growth Partners in the next phase of the company’s journey to bring affordable luxury to customers everywhere.
A Different Style
Lulus is in many ways the opposite of a typical Silicon Valley start-up. The company was founded by mother-daughter duo Debra Cannon and Colleen Winter in 1996 in Chico, California, a city of 90,000 people roughly 150 miles northeast of San Francisco. Lulus began as a brick-and-mortar boutique, “Lulu*s Fashion Lounge,” that sold vintage clothing. Debra and Colleen started the company with only $10,000 and focused on operational excellence early on. Their tenacity and keen eye for business has led Lulus to an uninterrupted streak of profitability every year since inception. Not content to rest on their laurels, Colleen boldly steered the company away from its successful roots as a brick and mortar retailer to shift operations wholly online with their own brand so that they could reach customers everywhere and at any time. It’s safe to say that from humble beginnings, the company has reached admirable heights. Today, Lulus has grown to become a loved digital brand for millennial women with multiple hundreds of millions in revenue and an outstanding combination of growth and profitability.
Staying on Trend
Lulus is at the center of two key ecommerce trends that are very exciting to IVP: the rise of digitally-native brands and data-driven merchandising and design. Today’s brands cultivate direct relationships with consumers, and, for today’s shopper, digital channels are the primary method of interaction with brands she loves. Lulus has done an incredible job of learning from and knowing their customer and has built top notch design and supply chain teams that create beautiful styles and go the extra mile to delight and serve their customer. The end result is that Lulus has a built a rapidly growing brand adored by millions of followers across social media because they deliver stylish, luxurious apparel quickly and affordably and they have done so with efficiency that is truly best in class.
The Perfect Fit
Through hard work and outstanding leadership, Lulus is already a very successful company. Lulus was looking for a partner with demonstrated expertise working with companies in ecommerce and growth at scale. From our perspective, Lulus was a great fit as we are thrilled to support unique, disruptive companies in hypergrowth tackling large market opportunities — Colleen, Debra and the rest of the team have created just that in Lulus. We’re excited to partner together to show the world what we have in store for next season, and the seasons to come.
Eric Liaw and Jules Maltz are General Partners at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA. Roseanne Wincek is a Principal and Jason Kong is an Associate at IVP.