This article was published in Axios August 11, 2022.
CreateMe, an on-demand apparel manufacturer and customization platform, is in early-stage fundraising discussions for a seed raise ahead of a planned Series A, says co-CEO Campbell Myers.
Why it's the BFD: Since ushering in the Industrial Revolution, clothing production has seen little innovation, but CreateMe is trying to change that, Myers says.
By the numbers: "We are a mature business as far as a Series A," Myers says.
CreateMe has north of $20 million in revenue and a gross margin of between 40% and 50%.
It projects it will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 40% and 50% from 2021 to 2024, though that could increase to 65% between 2021 and 2027.
To date, CreateMe has been financed by what is essentially a family office or fund that handles investments for him and his sisters, Myers says.
Details: After receiving inbound investor interest, CreateMe began discussions to raise a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) instrument of $15 million to $20 million over the next two months, Myers tells Axios.
That money would then be rolled into a Series A round, which could be in the ballpark of $50 million and potentially close in Q1 2023, he says.
Visual commerce platform Threekit, which raised a $35 million Series B round last November on a post-money valuation of about $235 million, is a logical comparable for CreateMe, Myers says.
Potential investors include strategics, venture capital firms and individual investors or family offices.
CreateMe is just starting to assemble a short-form deck and has not yet built out a data room.
How it works: One of CreateMe's key product offerings is on-demand and customized product creation from small batch to large-scale orders.
It built its first R&D factory and first automation systems where it will construct apparel and automate embellishment of apparel and accessories, which come online in October.
In March it debuted at SXSW what it calls an experiential retail and event solution via which shoppers can customize clothing and accessories with embellishment or embroidery.
It also has a digital platform for product creation.
Yes, and: The company's technology automates the construction of garments using a laser printer with a liquid bonded polymer instead of thread, Myers explains.
"We can get down to the micron level to establish exactly the pattern that is wanted for a particular stitch type," he says.
Of note: It counts Ralph Lauren as one of its most important customers, as well as Levi's, Adidas, Luxottica's online business, Fender and Franklin Sports, among others.
The bottom line: Apparel manufacturing is overdue for modernization.