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Volume 25 No. 23
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Fanchest Closes On $5.4M Seed Round, With Drew Brees, Von Miller Among Investors

Brooklyn-based Fanchest announced the closing of a $5.4M seed round that was supported by several groups and individuals, including Saints QB Drew Brees and Broncos LB Von Miller. This marks the first funding announcement the sports gift basket company has made since launching in '15. Fanchest co-Founder Dan Weinberg said, "We couldn’t have asked for a better group of investors. A lot of experience across the board that will really help us grow." He added, "We’ve been working on this for the past six months or so and now that we have it going into 2018 -- after going through 350% growth in 2017 -- we expect growth to continue to be strong.” Other Fanchest investors include Drone Racing League Founder & CEO Nick Horbaczewski and former Tough Mudder VP/Global Product Development Sheetal Aiyer, as well as VC firms GoAhead Ventures and Connected VC.

EYES ON THE FUTURE: Fanchest will be using this round of investments to focus on expanding its roster of sports teams, expanding headcount and finding ways to better understand their customers. Weinberg said, “The investment money will definitely be used for expanding teams and continuing to grow, especially in college, which is a big focus of ours.” Beginning Jan. 1, Fanchest's collegiate collection will expand to include schools like Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, Texas, North Carolina and Indiana. Weinberg said, "We’re also looking to improve on our operations in customer data. I think a big thing for next year is being able to customize on more specific offerings to our fans and to our customers.” He added, “Coming out with very customized specific themes for everyone is something we are very focused on. A lot of subscription boxes and curated boxes out there are kind of a one size fits all. For us, since we’re a one-time higher end gifting we’re trying to go more granular in customization, to offer our customers a very specific and exciting experience.” On future plans for more investment rounds, Weinberg said, “We really haven’t made a decision on that.” He added, “We are focused on where we are at now and understanding how fast we want to grow and where we want to grow. I think it’s safe to say that there will be additional rounds of fundraising, but when and with who is still to be determined."