Bluesmart, the company behind the world’s first smart, connected luggage, announces it has raised a round of funding of $11.5 million. The funding comes from a group of institutional investors – from Amadeus IT Group and Cota Capital to Western Technology Investments (WTI) and Y Combinator (YC) – to further its leadership position in the connected travel products market.
The round also includes prominent angel investors such as Flight VC’s Gil Penchina, YC’s partner Michael Seibel, MercadoLibre’s ($MELI) founder Marcos Galperin, Haystack’s Semil Shah and others, and follows the $2.2 million Bluesmart collected in pre-orders through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
Bluesmart CEO and co-founder Diego Saez-Gil
“We are excited to partner with an amazing group of investors who will help us accomplish our mission of empowering travelers and making the world more connected. With this financial backing, we have the resources to ship great products to our travelers and accelerate our growth. Hardware plus software companies are capital intensive so we are happy to have secured the financing necessary to execute our plans.”
The announcement comes as the first smart luggage starts to hit customers’ doorsteps. All 15,000 products pre-ordered through Indiegogo, Amazon and on the company’s own site are expected to arrive to buyers in 110 countries by the end of 2015.
As pre-order fulfillment completes, Bluesmart’s inaugural product will be available for real-time delivery through Amazon LaunchPad (with Prime eligibility) and at Bluesmart.com, with selected retailer partnerships to be announced soon.
Cota Capital general partner Bobby Yazdany, revealed:
“Bluesmart has the right team and vision to bring technological innovation to the massive luggage and travel goods market. We are excited by Bluesmart’s potential to deliver technologically disruptive products into this space.”
Other investors in the round include Fairhaven Capital, Fenox Ventures, FundersClub, PejmanMar Ventures, and Yunqui Partners. The proceeds of the round will be used to enter the market, accelerate production to meet demand, invest in research and development, and finance branding initiatives.
Bluesmart was founded by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs, designers and engineers who encountered several problems with their luggage while traveling internationally and decided to partner to develop the world’s first smart luggage. The result of this collaboration is a first-of-its-kind, lightweight, durable, water- and scratch-resistant suitcase that lets customers:
- Track: GPS+3G real-time tracking worldwide in partnership with Telefonica
- Lock: Remote digital lock accepted by the TSA
- Charge: 2 USB chargers with 10,000 mAh capacity–enough to charge an iPhone six times
- Weigh: Built-in weight sensors inform via app whether suitcase is within airline limits
- Connect: Bluesmart app delivers proximity alerts and travel itinerary and reports
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