Draper James, a Southern inspired retail brand founded by Reese Witherspoon, announced the closing of a $10 million Series B financing round. The funding was led by Forerunner Ventures, with participation from Stone Canyon Industries and existing investor JH Partners.
“I am so thrilled by the overwhelming response to Draper James. Having sold in all 50 states and over 15 countries, it is clear that customers are really responding to our brand,” said Reese Witherspoon, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Draper James. “Being born and raised in the South, I take great pride in the brand story. I am so excited to be partnering with such a great group of investors to make it possible for Draper James to broaden its product assortment and extend our reach.”
Since its launch a few months ago, Draper James has quickly established a distinctive place amongst contemporary brands by focusing on the American South. The new financing will allow Draper James to accelerate its growth and introduce its Southern brand to a wider audience. The company’s first retail store will open later this month in Nashville.
“We are thrilled to have our new partners on board to help take Draper James to the next level,” said Seth Rodsky, Co-Founder of Draper James. “This strategic investment provides Draper James with meaningful capital to allow for the continued direct to consumer build out, launch and expansion of the retail and wholesale business, the ability to pursue a disciplined licensing rollout and offer more products in apparel, accessories and home décor.”
“With so many avenues vying for attention, it’s increasingly challenging to gain mind and heart share with consumers. Draper James stands out in this regard. It’s about so much more than stylish product. It embodies a real sensibility and lifestyle and is rich with storytelling potential. These things matter to the modern consumer and they provide a foundation to deliver an experience. Backed by a team of industry experts and a visionary founder in Reese, this company has the key ingredients to become an iconic brand,” said Kirsten Green, Founder and Managing Director of Forerunner Ventures.
In conjunction with the financing, Kirsten Green, Founder and Managing Director of Forerunner Ventures, will join the Draper James Board of Directors.
Draper James is a Southern inspired retail brand that embodies the personal style and sensibility of its Founder and Creative Director, Reese Witherspoon. The website launched a direct to consumer business in May 2015. The first store is slated to open in Nashville later this month. Designed in-house, the collection consists of ready-to-wear, accessories, and home decor. A large portion of the product is manufactured in the US, specifically in the South. The retail store footprint will initially expand to other Southern markets with a wholesale and licensing roll-out starting in 2016.
Forerunner Ventures is an early-stage VC firm dedicated to partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs who are meeting the challenges and opportunities of today’s rapidly evolving digital commerce landscape. The Forerunner team uniquely pairs deep domain expertise and an understanding of consumer behaviors, brand building and product, to successfully identify leaders and participate in their efforts to build meaningful companies. Representative investments include: Birchbox, Bonobos, Dollar Shave Club, Glossier, Serena & Lilly and Warby Parker.