Subscription box startup Loot Crate, which sends toys and fan gear to subscribers in monthly mystery boxes, said it surpassed $100 million in sales last year and raised an $18.5 million Series A funding round.
The e-commerce company also said it has more than 600,000 monthly subscribers in 35 countries. To better serve demand in its second biggest market, the United Kingdom, the startup will be using its funding to open a marketing and business development office in that country this summer.
Loot Crate partners with movie studios, gaming companies, and comic book publishers to sell themed mystery boxes filled with items for fans, such as collectable figurines, comic books, and apparel. An annual subscription plan for the service costs $12 a month.
Loot Crate’s fast-growing revenue comes as some subscription box services have struggled to grow outside of a niche customer base. Others have suffered high-churn rates among their subscribers who tire of paying for items that don’t get used. Loot Crate has found ways to avoid these problems, said Chief Executive Chris Davis.
“We think about the utilities of the items, are they useable?” he said, noting that the company carefully surveys its customers. “One of our big focuses is not cluttering up homes.”
Subscribers to Loot Crate include super-fans as well as pop culture enthusiasts, said Davis. The company themes each box it sends around words like dystopia, invasion, and galaxy; topics which are tied together in a print magazine as well as with online content.
Loot Crate works with media franchises to manufacture new paraphernalia timed with major content releases, said Davis.
“We are planning years out with some of the big studios like in the case of ‘Deadpool,’” he said of the comic-book superhero movie. The company shipped an original figurine and t-shirt when the movie premiered in February.
Loot Crate’s funding round was led by Upfront Ventures of Santa Monica, with participation from Breakwater Investment Management, Time Inc., Downey Ventures, M13, and SterlingVC.
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