Sheets & Giggles Raises $1.3 Million in Seed Round
The round was led by Rockies Venture Club
Denver-based bedding startup Sheets & Giggles last week raised $1.3 million in a seed round. The round was led by angel investing group Rockies Venture Club (RVC), with additional contributions from Alpha Bridge Ventures, Fancy founder Jack Einhorn, Tilt Founder James Beshara, Secocha Ventures, Kokopelli Capital, W&T Family, Groundswell Ventures, and the partners at Foundry Group (who invested as individuals). This brings the startup’s total funding to $2 million since its 2018 launch.
“Sheets & Giggles is not your typical venture capital deal,” says Peter Adams, executive director of RVC. “It has no tech, no intellectual property, no lifesaving biotech breakthroughs, but it does have one thing that really makes us excited about the deal, and that's Colin McIntosh, CEO of Sheets & Giggles. Colin is an inspiring leader and a master of execution.”
McIntosh first moved to Colorado in 2015 to participate in Techstars Boulder as part of the founding team of a different startup, where he was laid off from in late 2017. But within months of that experience, he was working full-time on Sheets & Giggles (S&G). And in 2018, S&G won first place in Denver Startup Week’s pitch competition.
“That's actually when people began to sit up and take notice of what we were doing,” McIntosh says, adding that this pitch led to their induction into the 2019 class of Techstars Boulder. “Techstars then took our initial traction and supercharged it … [and] also gave us really terrific mentorship from top-tier people in the Colorado community, which I know has been a huge help to our entire team.”
With the funding from the seed round, S&G will invest in marketing to increase its brand recognition and growth trajectory as well as expansion of its team and product lines.
According to McIntosh, the company just hired a new head of growth, who is joining the team from Austin. “We'll be hiring a couple more people by year's end with the new funding, and we're also expanding our product lines to include Eucalyptus comforters, throw blankets and a few other top-secret items.”
Adams attributes the startup’s growth largely to McIntosh. “He's figured out the game and how to push the boundaries of the rules to break into the market. He's built a system to maximize Amazon's marketing power and reduce the cost of acquiring a customer. He's built a brand that's fun and engaging and a customer experience that just begins when you open the box,” Adams says.
Adams added that “The result is a stellar sales record with over $600,000 in sales in his first half-year of sales in 2018, and Sheets & Giggles is on track to do $2.5 million in sales in 2019, its first full year of operations.”
McIntosh, himself, says the company’s success is due to the brand, which “really just struck a chord with people,” adding that humor played a specific role. “Very few companies (if any) in the bedding space are anything but undeservedly serious, so we stand out in a boring space,” he says.
One of S&G’s differentiators is its dedication to sustainability.
The startup’s lyocell bed sheets are made from eucalyptus trees, and manages and evaporates moisture better than cotton, promoting an anti-microbial environment that will help keep sheets fresh and clean. S&G estimates that each sheet set conserves up to five years’ worth of the average person's drinking water compared to cotton sheets; the company plants a new tree for every single order; and its factories are signed up with with ZDHC (zero discharge of hazardous chemicals) to ensure no runoff.
“I wouldn't have started a company if it couldn't have a sustainability mission behind it. I'm a millennial, and like most of us, I'm moderately-to-severely worried about, you know, surviving through the inevitable climate wars,” McIntosh says.