Series A round led by Draper Triangle
PITTSBURGH, PA – June 16th, 2015 – Thread has closed a Series A Round of $2.8M, led by Draper Triangle Ventures, to create responsible fabric made from plastic collected in low-income countries. The financing will help expand production capabilities, while growing data and content collection throughout Thread’s unprecedentedly clean, transparent supply chain. The raise completes a $3.5M funding cycle that will continue to fuel the Certified B Corporation’s growth.
Based in Pittsburgh with operations in Haiti and Honduras, Thread tracks the impact on communities, jobs creation, and the environment, from the collection of bottles to the production of each bolt of fabric. This Ground to Good™ story is shared with partner brands that purchase Thread fabric – a narrative that is then shared with end customers.
The funding marks an important milestone for impact investing. Thread is among the first in a growing number of Certified B Corporations to receive Venture Capital funding. “With little innovation in the textile industry over the last 100 years, apparel companies are having a tough time meeting market demand for transparent, socially conscious materials“ said Jay Katarincic, Managing Director at Draper Triangle. “We believe Thread’s unique production process creates an incredibly powerful story that can strengthen the trust and authenticity of a brand to help meet market demand.”
“People base their buying decisions on which brands they can trust. Unfortunately, the apparel and accessories industry is still among the dirtiest the world. Customers want to know how their products are made and who makes them. We know the people who make Thread fabric possible and how their lives are changing because of the process. We can trace that process with a lot of precision,” said Ian Rosenberger, CEO and Founder of Thread. “This new group of investors and their networks are heavyweights. They add a ton of industry experience and credibility. With their help we can expand the capabilities of our fabric, increase our impact on the ground, and continue to deliver the authentic stories that matter most to brands and customers.” Investors in the round include Draper Triangle, Riverfront Ventures, DNS Capital (representing the business interests of Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Michael Pucker), and Bill Besselman of Under Armour.
A link to Thread’s 2014 Impact Report can be found here.
Used in apparel, accessories, and footwear, Thread offers 100% transparency into its supply chain by tracking social and environmental impact metrics at every level of their production process. The company’s network of partnerships with several NGOs and local vendors make Thread Ground to Good™ fabric the most responsible on the planet. “Textiles are changing at a rapid pace, beyond just the introduction of wearables and integrated technologies,” said Bill Besselman VP, Strategy and Consumer Insights at Under Armour and a Thread investor. “With a revolutionary approach to manufacturing and supply chain, Thread is poised to disrupt the market in a completely new way. For the first time, we can take a deep look at the data and stories of products from the ground up.“
Thread was launched after CEO and Founder, Ian Rosenberger, visited Haiti following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. Reflecting on a journal entry that simply said, “If Haiti could turn trash in $ = good”, Thread has since been dedicated to cleaning neighborhoods and ending poverty through dignified jobs and solvent business.
About Thread (@threadintl):
Thread transforms plastic waste from the developing world into socially and environmentally responsible fabric. Thread’s customers instantly improve the social impact and environmental impact of their products, while increasing the value of their goods to today’s mindful customer. This Ground to Good™ impact is carefully tracked through meaningful stories and data, unique to Thread fabric. Customers get the chance to meet the community of nearly 2,700 people who make their product possible and learn how their lives have improved. Thread and its partners, including the Ramase Lajan program created by Executives Without Borders, are responsible for the removal of over 6 million bottles from streets and canals of the developing world each month. Thread is proud to be a Certified B Corporation. Learn more at www.threadinternational.com.
About Draper Triangle (@drapertriangle):
Draper Triangle is a Venture Capital Firm that partners with the Midwest’s most extraordinary entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. Founded in 1999, Draper Triangle has invested in some of the Midwest’s most successful startups including TOA Technologies, Renal Solutions, BodyMedia, CardioInsight, and Carnegie Learning. DTVC partners with early stage companies to create iconic and disruptive businesses in emerging markets including software, digital media, robotics and medical devices. Draper Triangle is a proud member of the DFJ Global Network, a robust venture collective bringing together experienced investors and innovative entrepreneurs from around the globe to share strategies, source opportunities, and create greater value. Over the last 25 years the DFJ Global Network has grown into a self-governed organization of independent venture funds on four continents who cooperate on investment diligence, marketing intelligence, corporate relationships and co-investments. Through DFJ Global Network, members can leverage the collective intelligence of 100+ invested more than $3B in over 500 ventures. Learn more at www.drapertriangle.com.