Despite the name, travel brand Away is making a major impact right here in NYC. The company — which was included in Built In NYC’s 50 Startups to Watch in 2018 list — just made a slew of big announcements, including that it closed a $50 million Series C funding round to significantly grow its local headquarters.
The team, which launched with four employees and has since grown to 150, plans to move to a different office in the city to accommodate its expected growth. It will add at least 249 jobs over the course of the next five years.
“When we’re interviewing candidates, we’re looking for people who have a natural alignment with our core values — people who show that they’re customer-obsessed, willing to be iterative and who will take an ‘in-it-together’ approach to problem-solving,” said co-founder and CEO Steph Korey. “And instead of looking for candidates who might check the traditional boxes in a job description at another company (like prior industry experience), we’re looking for the 10 out of 10 candidate who’s excited to find the ‘Away way’ of doing things.”
“We aren’t limiting ourselves to any one product or plan for the future, and we’re excited to continue to make travel more seamless for decades to come.”
This investment brings the company’s total funding to $81 million — but more importantly, it marks the largest amount raised by a female founder this year. Co-founder Jen Rubio attributes this success to the company’s laser-focused attention to its customers.
“[We’ve found success by] having a customer-obsessed approach to everything we do, creating products and experiences based on what those customers are telling us they want and then creating a narrative and brand that people actually resonate with,” said Rubio. “We aren’t limiting ourselves to any one product or plan for the future, and we’re excited to continue to make travel more seamless for decades to come.”
Along with the funding, Away announced that it has officially reached profitability after just two years of launching. To date, it has sold more than 500,000 suitcases — and with this latest investment, there could be more products to add to the list. The brand aims to expand its product line to include virtually every travel item you could possibly need.
Away will also use the funding, which was led by existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Comcast Ventures, to expand to new markets as well as its physical retail locations and build on its social impact efforts.