The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A new breed of entrepreneurs is creating huge consumer brands — like MVMT and Tuft & Needle — without venture capital, and laughing all the way to the bank.

When Moiz Ali launched his startup Native, the maker of a natural deodorant brand, he couldn’t help but be self-conscious when mingling with other Bay Area entrepreneurs.

“In Silicon Valley, it’s often embarrassing when you haven’t raised money,” Ali told Recode recently. “When I’d go to parties or dinners, entrepreneurs would talk about how many employees they had. But for me, it was just me.”

Native eventually secured $550,000 from professional and individual investors, a relative pittance in the startup world where $100 million funding rounds and billion dollar valuations are discussed in a way that could sound like the norm.

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