Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:04 pm
Milwaukee-based fashion startup Wantable Inc. has raised $1.4 million from eight investors in an equity round led by Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Venture Capital and venture philanthropy organization BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.
The company, which delivers personalized makeup, accessories and apparel to tens of thousands of customers through a subscription service, opened and closed the funding round May 1, said Jalem Getz, president and founder. Both existing investors and new institutional investors contributed, he said. The new investors presented a good opportunity to open a round, he said.
“We have no general purpose for the round,” Getz said. “It is an equity round, just to fill the topper, so to speak, with additional funds. It’s just an opportunity to strengthen the balance sheet.”
Wantable had its first profitable year in 2016, and expects to be profitable again in 2018, he said. The company, founded in 2012, has grown to 118 employees and earned an Inc. 5000 listing in 2016 with revenue of $14.1 million. While it’s profitable, continuing to raise private equity funding helps create a capital cushion and keep up with inventory demands, Getz said.
“Strategically, if you can be in a place where you can pick and choose who your investors would be and if you can bring on investors who are very well known in Wisconsin, bring on a level of pedigree, why wouldn’t you do it?” Getz asked.
Wantable has raised more than $4.8 million from investors in four previous rounds. Despite the fact that it has reached a late funding round, Getz said he has no plans to pursue an exit.
“At the end of the day, as cliché as it might seem, we really focus on the customer, focus on the strength of the business and an exit will come or won’t come at the right time,” he said. “We’re in this for the long haul. We’re five years in on this company. I’m happy to run it for five more or 20 more.”
Wantable recently introduced a new algorithm to recommend personalized products to its customers, and now is adding a new feature to allow customers to exchange an item of clothing for a different size, free of charge, Getz said.
Getz previously founded New Berlin costume retailer BuySeasons Inc., which he and investors sold to Liberty Media Corp. in 2006 for more than $55 million.