Female-founded medical apparel company FIGS raises $65 million in most recent investment round from Tulco, bringing total funding to date to $75 million.
Founded in 2013 by Heather Hasson and Trina Spear, FIGS is transforming the healthcare experience by creating the highest quality medical apparel in the world and developing an unprecedented, branded ecommerce platform for medical professionals.
Medical apparel hasn’t changed much over the years, but ex-executives from companies like Lululemon and The Honest Company seem to believe this industry is on the verge of massive growth.
The $50 billion medical apparel industry is dominated by low end suppliers that sell in bulk to brick and mortar retailers. Disrupting an antiquated market might sound like an easy feat, but as co-CEO and co-founder Heather Hasson points out, “We’re not just changing an antiquated industry, we’re changing purchasing behaviors that have been ingrained in this community for over a hundred years. That has never been done.”
To do this well, FIGS lets data lead the way. Utilizing technology to make personalized digital relationships with their consumers was key to their success to date, which is sizeable. Since their last round of funding in 2016, the business has grown by more than 10X. “We have no plans to slow down,” says Hasson. “We’re using predictive data analytics and machine learning to connect with our community and bring them more of what they want.”
With the medical apparel industry taking off, FIGS isn’t the only company benefiting.
Just a couple of months ago, start-up medical apparel company Jaanuu, announced a $5-million funding round of funding. This brings Jaanuu’s total seed funding to $7.625 million from investors with deep expertise in the e-commerce and apparel industries. Investors include Sipadan Capital, Innovation Global Capital (founded by former COO of Uniqlo), Dan Nordstrom (former CEO of Nordstrom.com and current CEO of Outdoor Research) and Deborah Benton (board member of The Bouqs, Carbon38 and Vow To Be Chic), who join previous investors BAM Ventures, John Suh (CEO of LegalZoom), Ron Burkle (founder of The Yucaipa Companies), Sean Collins (founder of BCG Digital Ventures), Rick Marini (founder of Tickle and BranchOut), Potenza Capital, M3 Ventures and more. The funding is being used to fuel company growth, support the creation of additional products and bolster the digital and physical product teams.
Jaanuu is led by co-founder and CEO Shaan Sethi, a private equity investor, who was inspired to find a solution after his sister, pediatrician Dr. Neela Sethi Young, expressed frustration with having to wear the often frumpy uniform that had become standard in the healthcare industry. The brand’s apparel, which gives healthcare professionals a stylish and functional alternative to traditional scrubs, is made with the industry’s first premium antimicrobial-finished fabric to restrict the growth of bacteria and a proprietary four-fabric stretch blend manufactured to withstand harsh hospital conditions.
FIGS’ new round of funding will be used for advancements in technology, customization and to buy out existing investors. The infusion of capital will also speed up the company’s existing pipeline, which includes international expansion. “International is the logical next step for our brand, which already has demand and clientele outside the US,” says Hasson.
It’s also one of the reasons Tulco was eager to invest in the business. “Data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are helping to transform traditional industries. FIGS is using these tools to reimagine the workwear category and we couldn’t be happier with the results,” says Thomas Tull, Tulco founder and CEO. Tulco is now the sole outside investor in FIGS.
By Lolita A. Alford