David and Alan Tisch raise $7.5 million for stealthy mobile shopping startup Spring

July 9, 2014, 1:00 PM UTC
A preview of Spring, a mobile shopping startup.
A preview of Spring, a mobile shopping startup.
Courtesy: Spring

The well-known New York entrepreneur David Tisch and his younger brother, Alan, have raised $7.5 million for a mobile shopping startup called Spring. The Series A funding was led by Thrive Capital, the investment fund run by Josh Kushner, as well as Groupe Arnault, the investment firm controlled by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, and Box Group, Tisch’s early stage investment fund, with participation from a long list of angel and seed investors. (More on that below.)

Now at 26 employees, Spring has built an e-commerce marketplace for stylish goods that is optimized for mobile devices. The Tisch brothers formed Spring a year ago with co-founders Octavian Costache, an ex-Google employee who serves as CTO, and Ara Katz, a co-founder of fashion startup BeachMint who serves as CMO. David Tisch serves as the company’s chairman; Alan serves as CEO. The team has been doing business as Jello Labs.

The elder Tisch has revealed precious few details about the product—which may be an app, though we can only speculate—but promises to make shopping on your phone more palatable. Spring is scheduled to launch in August.

And that is all the company is willing to share. (Why bother sharing anything at all, then? Because the company had to file a Form D with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, making its funding public.)

Spring’s press release on the subject is just 151 words long, 93 of which are spent listing the company’s investors. With a lack of detail, we’re left to speculate about the company’s intentions based only on the presence of fashion industry executives and e-commerce startup founders in its senior ranks. (Though its chatty Twitter account and flowery Instagram account also help.) David Tisch has established many connections in New York’s startup world as managing director of TechStars New York, a startup accelerator, in 2011 and 2012. (He left to make seed investments full-time through his fund, Box Group, which has backed startups like Warby Parker, Harry’s, and Flatiron Health.)

Nonetheless, Spring has a fine-looking and long list of angel investors that is rife with notable seed funds, big-name entrepreneurs, high profile angel investors, and figureheads from the fashion world. Many of them have invested in each others’ companies or funds, and several of them have taken investment from Box Group.

Why spread the syndicate so widely? “ I have a lot of friends,” the elder Tisch says. “I’ve always viewed building a company as a long-term journey and I think having a lot of people on board to support you is really important.”

Below, a list of Spring’s investors. (Annotations are mine.)

Funds that have invested in Spring

Founder Collective (An entrepreneur-driven seed fund that made a smart early bet on Uber.)
Google Ventures (They’ve been busy lately.)
Lerer Hippeau Ventures (Seed investors known as “The Huffington Post mafia.”)
Novel TMT (Previously backed fashion startups like Rent the Runway, The RealReal and The Business of Fashion.)
Plus Capital (A Los Angeles-based fund focused on consumer-facing startups.)
Slow Ventures (Run by former Facebookers Dave Morin and Kevin Colleran.)
SV Angel (a.k.a. Ron Conway and crew.)

Founders who have invested in Spring

Aaron Levie (Founder and CEO, Box)
Andy Dunn (Founder and CEO of men’s outfitters Bonobos, which just raised $55 million from a Mexican mortgage lender called Coppel Capital in an apparent road to an IPO.)
Andy Katz-Mayfield (Co-founder of Harry’s, a men’s razor company)
Dave Gilboa (Co-founder of Warby Parker, the popular eyewear company)
Gary Vaynerchuk (A social media “guru”)
Ivanka Trump (The celebrity-turned-investor)
Jared Hecht (Co-founder of GroupMe)
Jeff Raider (Co-founder of Harry’s)
Jesse Derris (Founder of Derris & Company, a public relations firm)
Nat Turner (Co-founder of Flatiron Health, which recently raised $130 million from Google Ventures)
Neil Blumenthal (Co-founder of Warby Parker)
Ori Allon (Founder of several startups, including Orion, Julpan, and Urban Compass)
Rachel Zoe Ventures (Of reality TV and fashion design fame)
Scott Belsky (Founder of Behance, which has since sold to Abobe)
Shakil Khan (Founder of Coindesk and an executive at Spotify)
Steve Martocci (Co-founder of GroupMe, the communications tool)
Wiley Cirelli (Founder of SinglePlatform, which sold to Constant Contact)
Zach Weinberg (Co-founder of Flatiron Health)

Other notable tech executives who have invested in Spring

Jared Grusd (Head of corporate development at Spotify)
Joey Levin (CEO of Search & Applications at InterActiveCorp)
Joanne Wilson (Angel investor, wife to Fred)
Kal Vepuri (Angel investor)
Strauss Zelnick (CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software, a gaming company)

Fashion industry fixtures who have invested in Spring

Andrew Rosen (co-founder of Theory)
Austin Rosen (son of Andrew)
Desiree Gruber ( A fashion industry power player)
Lew Frankfort (Chairman and former CEO of Coach)
Michael Ovitz (Co-founder of CAA, former CEO of Walt Disney Co, father of fashion designer Kimberly Ovitz)
Morris Goldfarb (CEO of G-III Apparel Group)
MT Carney (Former marketing president at Walt Disney Company)
Shirley Cook (CEO and co-founder of Proenza Schouler)
Steven Alan (Fashion designer)
Uri Minkoff (Brother, co-founder, and CEO to fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff)
SoulFounders Ventures (comprised of Elizabeth Culter and Julie Rice, the founders of SoulCycle)