Sofia Vergara Secures $6M Funding For Lingerie Brand EBY

Modern Family actress and co-founder of lingerie brand Empowered by You (EBY), Sofia Vergara, has secured $6 million in a Series A round, led by Colt Ventures.

“Now more than ever, we are excited to invest in a female-led company, such as EBY, that is bursting with market potential and has a notable social mission to support women globally,” said Sundeep Agrawal M.D., managing director at Colt Ventures. “Just like Colt Ventures, EBY is laser-focused on the future. We are excited to support Eby as the company enters its next growth phase.”

Other investors that participated in the funding round include Azure Capital; Robert DiRomualdo, Ulta Beauty’s chairman of the board; Ken Goldman, former chief financial officer at Yahoo and former chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange, Duncan Niederauer.

The New York-based brand, which was founded by Vergara and Renata Black in 2018, first launched itself as a subscription service, supplying members with three pairs of underwear once every three months. However, EBY has since pivoted and it now fully operates as an eCommerce offering giving shoppers the option to choose between a membership offering or shopping a la carte.

With the new round of funding, the company is also looking to add to its team of 20 employees with the hiring of a chief operating officer and expanding internationally into the U.K. and Canada. EBY is also aiming to grow its market share by better marketing its panties and barrettes, which utilize its patented “no-slip-grip” technology and investing in product development and innovation.

The brand has kicked off the rollout of new products with the launch of a limited-edition Seamless Luxe Collection today.

In the long run, the company wants to be recognized as more than just a brand that sells underwear or known as another female-founded business or a size-inclusive brand. According to Black, who also serves as EBY’s chief executive officer, EBY wants to be a purpose-driven company that gives back to the community. Black told WWD that the brand currently donates 10 percent of its proceeds to the Seven Bar Foundation, a nonprofit that supports women living under the poverty line by educating them in finance so they can start their own business ventures.

The company’s strategy seems to be paying off. EBY doubled its revenue between 2018 and 2019, which led to its eCommerce expansion efforts in September 2020. The brand is now on track to double its revenues this coming year.

Black credits the company’s success to former Victoria’s Secret CEO Grace Nichols, who was one of her earliest mentors and the person who taught her to pay careful attention to consumer habits.

“She’s the one that really made me sit in stores, see how women shop and helped me formulate the best product, and also worked through the message with me, which is ultimately why we’ve been so successful,” Black said. “We’ve modeled EBY’s subscription service to model our customers’ behaviors. And the product is something you actually need.”

“Women are usually buying underwear three or four times a year and buying them in handfuls,” Black added. “I know that because I spent the first few months prior to launch just sitting in stores, watching how women shop.”

Originally published at https://retailbum.com on August 30, 2021.

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