Workwear Startup Raises $20M to Modernize Industry
In less than two years since its inception, Boston’s very own BRUNT, a modern work apparel startup for construction workers and tradespeople, has raised a $20 million Series B round.
The round, led by Stripes, took just two weeks to close. This is due in part to BRUNT exceeding its 2021 forecast by 80 percent with sales surging 119 percent, according to the company.
“What is really driving the growth so fast is the brand. We’re in an antiquated space with brands that have been around for 100 years — they trade on heritage. We’re super modern from the way we talk to the way we look and even the way we communicate,” Eric Girouard, founder and CEO of BRUNT, told Built In.
BRUNT plans to use the funding to increase inventory, further develop its products and expand its direct-to-consumer reach.
Girouard believes that the company’s D2C focus is what has helped scale it thus far. In his eyes, the price of the products in addition to delivering comfortable workwear directly to someone’s door makes consumers’ lives easier.
BRUNT’s consumer reach is appealing to the Gen Z and millennial market, according to Girouard because the startup uses modern communication channels and online advertising. The brand also reaches customers ages 50+ since these consumers value BRUNT’s focus on comfortable workwear.
“It’s no surprise that BRUNT has seen incredible early adoption and consumer love. Their direct-to-consumer model, coupled with Eric’s fanatical focus on product innovation and quality, has enabled BRUNT to deliver shoes and apparel with superior comfort, performance and value compared to the incumbents,” Chris Carey, a partner at Stripes, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with Eric and the BRUNT team.”
Additional funding will go toward hiring at least 18 people by the end of the year, Girouard said. BRUNT currently has a team of 11.
While being located in Boston is preferred, it is not a requirement to be an employee at BRUNT. Being local, however, allows employees to engage firsthand with the company’s culture, which reflects the lives of its customers, Girouard said.
The Boston office also doubles as a workshop with tools employees can use to tinker with throughout the day. On Thursdays, BRUNT opens its office’s garage to create a bar and grill atmosphere. Each week the startup invites local workers and the blue-collar community to meet the staff and explore products.