Naadam, the sustainable cashmere company, revealed today it has raised $16 million in Series A funding.
According to a 2018 Women’s Wear Daily report, a private equity firm, Vanterra Capital, led the round with participation from Silas Chou’s Torch Capital; U-Start Club, a venture capital firm that syndicates investments from Italian and Swiss family offices into global high-growth digital ventures; Trail Post Ventures, and Plug and Play Ventures.
Image via Naadam
Matthew Scanlan cofounded the brand with Diederik Rijsemus and Hadas Saar in 2015 after Scanlan and Rijsemus decided somewhat on a whim to take a trip to Mongolia, where they ended up tagging along with an American journalist to interview herders in the Gobi Desert and getting stranded there for three weeks. The trip resulted in them disrupting the cashmere supply chain by cutting out the middleman and purchasing directly from the herders, which leads to significantly lower prices and supply chain sustainability, according to a 2018 Women’s Wear Daily.
The company pays the nomadic herders 50% more than traditional traders. They make everything themselves. The company also uses clean energy powered production facilities, livable wages, programs for healthier goats and more sustainable grazing practices.
According to a 2018 Women’s Wear Daily report, the brand is headquartered in New York’s SoHo. They now have offices in China and Amsterdam. It now has its own e-commerce and is opening its first store in New York’s West Village in September, with a West Coast store and experimental retail planned for the near future. The collection is comprised of women’s wear, men’s wear and a bit of home. It also has a wholesale business doing private label cashmere collections for retailers. Scanlan, the company’s chief executive officer, noted that Naadam has scaled 300 percent each year for the past three years and the strategy for the Series A investment is to continue to scale while investing in marketing, advertising, brand communication and physical retail.
“The goal for us as a developing brand was to bring in the next level strategic partners to help us continue to scale at the rate we’ve been scaling at,” Scanlan said. “Part of that was finding people who’ve done this before. People who understand from an operational perspective and people who can finance multiple rounds in the future.”