July co-founders Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li, with Strandbags MD Felicity McGahan (centre).
Melbourne luggage brand July, already set to book more than $5 million revenue in its first year, has raised A$10.5 million in a Series A, led by veteran accessories retailer Strandbags and a private investor.
Strandbags is owned by Michael Lewis, chairman of South-African retail giant TFG, and the retailer tipped in $5 million in equity and $3 million in debt.
The 92-year-old brand is currently undergoing a revamp led by new MD Felicity McGahan, a former Cotton On boss, who approached the startup earlier this year.
“Strandbags is itself innovating in the rapidly changing luggage market and we feel that now is the time to invest in such a like-minded brand,” she said.
“We are very confident that both companies can help each other grow, innovate and succeed.“
The funds will go towards product development and Asia-Pacific expansion. July sells exclusively through direct-to-consumer channels and was founded in 2018 by Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li. They now have a flagship retail store in Melbourne’s Emporium.
Didaskalou said they’re glad to have the global retail expertise of Strandbags as part of the business.
“Their deep retail sector knowledge will be increasingly helpful as we scale the business,” he said.
“This funding will allow us to continue to grow at pace, we plan to launch in Singapore before the end of 2019, New Zealand within the next six months, and further Asia Pacific markets in 2020.”
July produces lightweight, hard-shell polycarbonate cases in three sizes, priced between $295 and $395.