DTC Platforms Business models

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

DTC Platforms Business Models (1)

ViaHero generates revenue through the sale of its basic and premium plans that save travelers an average of $345 per trip and 18 hours of planning time. Detailed information specific to ViaHero, Sprezzabox, and Schoola can be found in rows 2-4 of the attached spreadsheet.

Summary

  • ViaHero is an online marketplace that enables travelers to find locals who create personalized travel plans for them. It was founded in Dec 2015 and is headquartered in New York. ViaHero's estimated annual revenue is $10 million.
  • Sprezzabox is an "e-commerce retail subscription company" that offers a variety of products for men including socks, pocket squares, ties and bow ties, cuff links, tie clips, and lapel pins. It was founded in May 2014 and is headquartered in New York. Sprezzabox generated $40 million in revenue in its five years since inception.
  • Schoola is an online DTC company that sells "second-hand women's and children's clothing". It was founded by Stacey Boyd in 2013 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Schoola's estimated annual revenue is $23 million.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

DTC Platforms Business Models (2)

Priority Bicycles is an American manufacturer of bicycles and its accessories. The company's chief executive officer is Dave Weiner. M.Gemi was founded in 2015 by the trio of Maria Gangemi, Ben Fischman, and Cheryl Kaplan. The requested information has been provided in rows 5–7 of the attached spreadsheet. Below is a summary of our findings.

Priority Bicycles

  • The company was founded in 2014 by Dave Weiner and Connor Swegle and is headquartered in New York. The company manufacture bicycles that are designed to be rust-resistant and require minimal maintenance.
  • The company has raised $556,300 in funding and has an estimated revenue of $800,000.

M.Gemi

  • M.Gemi is an e-commerce shoemaker that specializes in the design and production of Italian-styled corporate and affordable shoes for men and women.
  • The company was founded in 2015 by the trio of Maria Gangemi, Ben Fischman, and Cheryl Kaplan. M.Gemi has been in business for about 5 years.
  • The company's corporate headquarters is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The company's president is Cheryl Kaplan while Ben Fischman serves as the company's chief executive officer.

Ollie

  • Ollie is a privately-owned pet wellness brand that produces and delivers healthy dog food that is tailored to meet each dog's nutritional needs.
  • The company incorporates human-grade ingredients and smart technology in the production process. Ollie was founded in 2016 by Randy Jimenez, Alex Douzet, and Gabby Slome.
  • The company has been in business for 4 years and is headquartered in New York.
  • The company has raised $17 million in funding and has an estimated revenue of $5 million.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

DTC Platforms Business Models (3)

Hatch Collection company provides pregnant women with varieties of clothes throughout their stages of pregnancy. Further information required have been provided in the attached spreadsheet (rows 8-10, columns C-I). Below is the summary of the findings.

Hatch Collection

  • Hatch Collection helps to manufacture and market maternity wear clothes. This company offers different clothing products for pregnant women such as tops, dresses, bottoms, jumpsuits, among others.
  • This company was founded in 2011 and they have been in business for up to 9 years.
  • Hatch Collection estimated revenue is $3 million and the company's latest funding was $5 million.

Dormify

  • Dormify is a direct-to-consumer, online, and retail brand that produces bedding and decor items for small spaces.
  • Dormify was founded in 2011 and they have been in business for up to 9 years.

Codecademy

  • Codecademy provides online training courses on computer programming codes to millions of users worldwide.
  • Also, this company offers training in web languages and online courses such as JavaScript, Ruby, Python, among others.
  • This company was founded in 2011 and they have been in business for up to 9 years.
  • Codecademy estimated revenue is $11 million and the company's last funding was $30 million.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

DTC Platforms Business Models (4)

Briogeo is a manufacturer of natural hair care and treatment products. The company headquarters is located in New York. All the requested information has been provided in rows 11-12 of the attached spreadsheet. Below is an overview of our findings.

Briogeo

  • Briogeo is a natural hair care and treatment manufacturer. The company's hair care products are suitable for all hair types and textures.
  • Briogeo operates as a privately owned company. The company was founded in 2013 by Nancy Twine and is headquartered in New York. The company has been in business for the last 7 years.

Athena Club

  • Athena Club was founded by Allie Griswold, Charles Desmarais, and Maria Markina in 2017 and is headquartered in New York.
  • The company is an online marketplace where buyers can purchase essential self-care products. The company markets itself as the manufacture of feminine products. Athena club has been in business for about 2 years.
  • The company raised $3.8 million in one funding round.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

DTC Platforms Business Models (4.2)

Athena Club is a company that sells self-care essentials with a mission to bring quality body care to all. Briogeo offers a selection of natural hair care products.

Athena Club

"Athena Club offers a cheaper way to prepare for your next period"

  • Athena Club launched in 2018 after receiving "$3.8 million in seed funding from investors. While the company currently only offers two tampon types, premium and organic, as well as a variety of absorbances, the company has plans to "expand their products into pads and liners as the brand progresses."

"Athena Club expands into personal care and ingestibles"

  • By November 2019, Athena Club had expanded beyond its organic tampon subscription service to sell fourteen items across three categories. These items include shaving cream, razors, multivitamins, body lotions, probiotics, menstrual cups, and pads. Maria Markina, Athena Club co-founder, has said that these new launches "are expected to contribute 200% month-over-month sales growth during the next quarter."

"ALUMNA STARTS SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE TO SOLVE A COMMON INCONVENIENCE FOR WOMEN"

  • Allie Griswold, the founder of Athena Club, said that she hopes to branch out to several things that women need regularly. She also mentions that there is an opportunity in the future to streamline and modernize women's self-care.

"How 2 Women Are Making Tampons More Affordable and Accessible"

  • By making tampons more affordable and accessible, Athena Club is focused on taking major steps forward in the "fight to eliminate the luxury tax on tampons, reduce the stigma around having a period, and help women around the world continue to go about their lives no matter what time of the month it is."

Briogeo

"Briogeo Raises The Bar for The Future of Natural Hair Care: Company Announces Significant U.S. & International Growth and Expansion, and Breakthrough Category Innovation"

  • Briogeo has plans for a major expansion and looks to "expand its long-standing partnership with Sephora, doubling the number of Sephora doors to 150 nationwide, which will all carry the entire Briogeo product range."

"BRIOGEO'S INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS HAS MADE IT A MAJOR SEPHORA HIT"

  • Regarding the future of the brand, Nancy Twine, Founder and CEO of Briogeo, said that while formulating hair care products "with clean and conscious ingredients was the first stage, consumers can expect to see more focus on clean and conscious in an overall lifestyle setting."

"How Haircare Startup Briogeo Went From Zero To $10 Million In Sales In Just Four Years"

"HOW A FORMER INVESTMENT BANKER CREATED A BREAKOUT HAIR CARE LINE"

  • Nancy Twine mentioned that her plan for Briogeo is "growing the company as much as she can." She is also putting more attention on expanding Briogeo's international following.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research by scouring news articles to obtain insights on Briogeo and Athena Club. While our preferred strategy was to gather insights from articles that were written from this year and the year before, a lack of press featuring Briogeo and Athena in 2020 has led us to resort to expanding our scope and gathering information from articles from the last three years. Through our extensive research, we have searched for compiled the most insightful articles we could gather regarding the future plans/innovations of Briogeo and Athena Club and synthesized the information into a report.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

DTC Platforms Business Models (3.2)

Hatch Collection plans to open new brick-and-mortar stores by 2020 in markets like Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. The retail stores will house ready-to-wear apparel and beauty products along with other products like ice cream, and snacks.

Hatch Collection

1. New product development

  • In 2019, Hatch Collection raised $5 million in Series A funding from Silas Capital and with participation from M3 Ventures.
  • The company plans to use this round of funding to fuel new product development and content production across Hatch’s social media accounts and onsite blog.
  • Hatch Collection also plans to use this latest round of funding to expand its operations from its online hub to an omnichannel model.

2. Plans for the future

  • Ariane Goldman, the CEO of Hatch Collection said that the company plans to open more retail locations of the company by 2020 in markets like Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago.
  • The brick-and-mortar stores will not only sell Hatch’s ready-to-wear apparel and Hatch Mama beauty products but will also feature ‘cravings bar’ serving pickles, ice cream, and other snacks.
  • Hatch’s retail stores in New York and Los Angeles also serve as a community center to educate women through ongoing panel discussions, wellness programs among others.

Dormify

1. Plans for the future

  • In 2018, Dormify raised $3.45 million Series A investment led by AEO Inc. to fuel its growth.

2. Innovation

  • Dormify launched a back-to-school program to increase sales by opening pop-up shops as shoppers coming in for a style appointment had higher purchase order value compared with the online purchase order value.
  • The company opened temporary ‘style studios’ in New York City, Chicago, and Bethesda, Maryland, in summer months during the peak season to boost their sales.

Codecademy

1. New product development

  • Codecademy, in an attempt to formalize its offering and increase profit, the company has launched a new professional paid product called Codecademy Pro.
  • Codecademy Pro offers a much more detailed and intensive learning experience and allows users to learn the fundamentals of coding, as well as develop a deeper knowledge in up to 10 areas like machine learning, data analysis among others.

2. Innovation

  • Through this program, the company aimed to reach the broadest range of students possible and make it’s business sustainable. The company also added an option for human instruction to those courses for the first time.
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

DTC Platforms Business Models (2.2)

DTC platform startups like Priority Bicycles, Ollie and M.Gemi live and die by constant innovation and being ahead of the curve, be it in design, logistics, product or brand. they strive to be ahead of the curve by using paradigms, collaborations and concepts that are uncommon in their respective industries. The following is an overview of such practices and plans from these companies.

Priority Bicycles

  • Priority Bicycles recently introduced a "Gear Patrol Commuter Bike" in March 2020, collaborating with Gear Patrol, an award-winning New York City Digital Studio and Publication. This bicycle is custom-designed to appeal to the hip, eco-conscious New York City commuter looking for a reliable commuter bike by being sturdy as well as light-weight. It is offered in all-black.
  • The Ultra-luxury White Elephant Resort, slated to open in April 2020 in Palm Beach, Florida, will feature Priority Bikes for complimentary use by its guests.

Ollie

  • Ollie uses innovative design language for a pet food brand by taking "digital native" strategies usually used by startups and applying them to the pet food space such as memorable colors, insta-worthy photography style for its media, bold typography, distinctive copy style, smartly designed food bags and shipping boxes.
  • It also has a fundamentally innovative product selling organic, "human-grade" pet food.

M.Gemi

  • Product innovation and new design has been a key to M.Gemi’s success, including the launch of men’s footwear in 2017.
  • As of May 2019, M.Gemi had plans to expand to Europe by early 2020.
  • One example of the many innovations M.Gemi has pioneered is the use of it's Hudson Yards store to build lifetime customer relationships. Hudson Yards is M.Gemi's first brick and mortar location replete, featuring a cafe in-store. It is billed as a chill, casual environment to try on shoes, with a friend in tow, in a ritzy neighborhood while sipping on a cup of coffee or a glass of Prosecco.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

DTC Platforms Business Models (1.2)

ViaHero, Sprezzabox, and Schoola utilize a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) business model that build a brand through personalized customer-relationships, continuous stream of first-party data, and go-to-market strategies. ViaHero has focused on community engagement to ensure the company reflects the values of its consumers and is responsive to those demands. Sprezzabox has developed strategic business partnerships to diversify its consumer products and uses its Instagram primarily to drive inspiration, thus business profits. Schoola has partnered with social revolutions and e-commerce platforms to gain attention and momentum for funding. These and other details are presented below.

ViaHero

  • The startup company was founded in 2015 and has now expanded its travel service to 21 countries and cities and counting. In several interviews, the leaders of the company have stated that their ultimate goal is to make ViaHero the go-to app for travel planning. The destinations added in September 2019 were Buenos Aires, Peru, Philippines, Rio de Janeiro, and Thailand.
  • The company has not made any announcements since September 2019 regarding their future expansion to other countries or cities.
  • Recently, ViaHero has reaffirmed its commitments to sustainable "green" tourism and has championed its model as a leader in that revolution.
  • In a DTC business model, a company must adapt and stay up-to-date on current innovations to stay relevant. In this regard, the company is now expanding its ambassadors and referrals programs by building partnerships with locals, training locals to become skilled tour guides, and increasing kickbacks to the local economy.
  • The ambassadors program has also been revamped due to recent critiques in social media about the danger of influencers. ViaHero is devoted to promoting "responsible tourism", which includes its social media influencers or local guides/ambassadors.
  • Lastly, the company has focused on white label marketing in order to make its website more user-friendly and allow for easier communication between local guides and travelers.

Sprezzabox

  • Sprezzabox was founded in 2014 and has acquired several companies since its inception.
  • Most recently, in 2018, Sprezzabox and Esquire partnered together to create its own tailored monthly subscription box.
  • Philip Sblendorio, the CEO of Sprezzabox, stated that there would be more surprises to come as a result of this partnership. Yet, nothing has been stated to this date.
  • Sprezzabox inspires and maintains a successful subscription box company through visual inspiration on Instagram, style tips and tricks on its website and in each monthly box that has a monthly brand interview.
  • Sprezzabox has been successful in developing regular user content, but has yet to announce plans for product innovation or new product development.

Schoola

  • Schoola has not relied on social media engagement or direct community interactions. Rather, it directly with schools and hosts semi-annual clothing drives at the schools.
  • In exchange for clothing donations, Schoola sells clothing pieces at a low cost to families in need, and donates 40% of the proceeds to save kids' programs like art, music, and PE.
  • In order to boost donations, Schoola offers discount coupons to certain e-commerce sites and local stores. Some schools even allow digital fundraisers through Groupon.com.
  • In this way, Schoola has been innovating its outreach methodology to factor in which stores and fundraisers are most appealing to the parent demographic.
  • The latest strategy Schoola enacted was to partner with the Malala Fund, wherein donations were to be delivered in Malala bags, and the proceeds would be divided among Schoola, the school, and the Malala Fund foundation. Schoola, in essence, piggybacked off the foundation's reputation.
  • Since this partnership initiative in 2016, Schoola has not announced or made any plans in regard to product development or innovation. The company is fortunate enough to be able to rely on the stable backing of its partner schools.

Research Strategy:

After exhaustive research through social media platforms, news and media sites, company interviews, industry development blogs, pages, and conference publications, it appears that none of the sites listed have made many clear plans for the future, innovation, or new product development. We also looked for interviews done with the executives or leaders of these companies through magazines, news sites, and other media sources to know if they have mentioned new product innovations and development or future plans but this approach was not fruitful since the only statement we found was from the CEO of Sprezzabox but it does not have details on future plans regarding its new partnership. The unavailability of this information might be due to some competitive reasons. Summaries about each company's current marketing and digital outreach strategies have been provided instead. ViaHero had the most information available in regard to its future plans. However, the future plans discussed in the available sources were detailed four years ago, and the interviews with its founders and directors were conducted few years earlier.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
From Part 03
From Part 08