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January 23, 2017 – New York – Bluesmart, the creators of the world’s first smart, connected luggage announced a $12M Series A round of funding led by Michael Li of Tsing Capital with additional funding from Monashees Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, XG Ventures among others leading investors from Silicon Valley and China.
Bluesmart was co-founded by former Endeavor Global staff member Brian Chen and is the second company from Endeavor Entrepreneur Diego Saez-Gil, who previously built Wehostels, which was acquired by the online travel agency StudentUniverse in November 2013.
Bluesmart’s smart luggage products feature location tracking, batter charging, remote locking, weight senors, distance sensors and travel reports via a connected app. The company plans to use the money to continue building its global influence in the smart luggage industry.
The leading investor, Michael Li, is a former Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers partner with strong expertise in cross-border technology companies. This investment comes from a dedicated Tsing Capital fund called “Smartech Innovation Fund” which is focused on Internet of Things and connected devices. Bluesmart, which already has offices in China, will utilize this partnership to continue its manufacturing and global operations in Asia.
“With a long history of venture capital investing in China and North America, we are pleased to add Bluesmart to our portfolio of sustainable life style companies,” said Li. “China represents one of the largest and fastest growing markets for premium luggages globally, and we look forward to helping support Bluesmart’s expansion and product delivery.”
With this new round of funding, the company plans to expand its product line in order to continue its mission of solving routine travel problems to make lives easier and travel more enjoyable.
In addition to its funding announcement, Bluesmart has appointed Tomi Pierucci as CEO effective immediately. Pierucci, a co-founder and former President of Bluesmart is returning to his original position as Bluesmart’s CEO. The company is also hiring a new CFO, Paula Rojnica, former VP, Content Operations of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Diego Saez Gil will take on the position of Executive Chairman of the Board at Bluesmart.
“As a global company, we’re very excited to partner with an impressive group of investors from around the world including Endeavor Catalyst,” said Pierucci. “We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Endeavor and deeply value the work it does. We’re very grateful to the company for believing in Bluesmart and helping us further our mission of improving the travel experience. This new round of funding allows us to increase our impact and product line with that same vision in mind.”
Endeavor Catalyst is the innovative co-investment fund of Endeavor, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised $35M in philanthropically donated and invested capital, and invested into more than 40 Endeavor companies in 15 countries. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has co-invested alongside a number of leading venture capital and growth equity funds, including Accel Partners, General Atlantic, NEA, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Investments include Globant (NYSE: GLOB) in Argentina; Yemeksepeti.com (acquired by Delivery Hero) in Turkey and Ruma in Indonesia.
Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.
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