It’s only been a year since Cubcoats launched with a slightly kooky concept. It’s a $40 stuffed animal that magically unzips to become a hoodie sweater. But it’s become something of a viral sensation among kids and their parents. The company could make up to $10 million in sales in 2018 at its current growth rate.
This amazing growth trajectory has helped Cubcoats’ founders, Zac Park and Spencer Markel, land $4.85 million in seed investment from a range of well-known investors. They include Jen Rubio, cofounder of Away; Daniel and Michael Broukhim, cofounders of FabFitFun; Dreamers Fund, which is founded by Will Smith; and Major League Baseball.
All of this funding means that Cubcoats is going to go way beyond the two-in-one product. The company now wants to create an entire immersive world around each of the individual stuffed toys within the Cubcoats universe. Each animal already has its own name–Kali the cat, Tomo the tiger etc.–and identity. The brand’s creative director, Mimi Chao, will continue to develop content around these characters, which could become a revenue stream.
Nordstrom has tapped Cubcoats to feature the products in more than 100 stores around the country during this upcoming holiday season, and now, Cubcoats is exploring how it can continue to lean into retail in the future.
It took work to create a warm, functional sweater that also looked convincingly like a stuffed animal. Park and Markel created over 100 prototypes before landing on the current Cubcoat product. Park, a 29-year-old marketer who focuses on engineering campaigns that go viral, says he wanted to create a “sticky concept.” “We thought to ourselves, what could sell well to parents and create a lasting brand relationship with kids?” he says. “We wanted a product that a child would get attached to and grow up with.”