SOURCE: Bluesmart

Bluesmart

October 14, 2015 11:00 ET

Bluesmart Raises $11.5M to Transform Travel; Starts Shipping Highly Anticipated Smart Luggage

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2015) - Bluesmart, the company behind the world's first smart, connected luggage, announces today that it has raised a round of funding of $11.5 million. The funding comes from a group of institutional investors -- from Amadeus IT Group and Cota Capital to Western Technology Investments (WTI) and Y Combinator (YC) -- to further its leadership position in the connected travel products market.

The round also includes prominent angel investors such as Flight VC's Gil Penchina, YC's partner Michael Seibel, MercadoLibre's ($MELI) founder Marcos Galperin, Haystack's Semil Shah and others, and follows the $2.2 million Bluesmart collected in pre-orders through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

"We are excited to partner with an amazing group of investors who will help us accomplish our mission of empowering travelers and making the world more connected," said Bluesmart CEO and co-founder Diego Saez-Gil. "With this financial backing, we have the resources to ship great products to our travelers and accelerate our growth. Hardware plus software companies are capital intensive so we are happy to have secured the financing necessary to execute our plans."

The announcement comes as the first smart luggage starts to hit customers' doorsteps. All 15,000 products pre-ordered through Indiegogo, Amazon and on the company's own site are expected to arrive to buyers in 110 countries by the end of 2015. As pre-order fulfillment completes, Bluesmart's inaugural product will be available for real-time delivery through Amazon LaunchPad (with Prime eligibility) and at Bluesmart.com, with selected retailer partnerships to be announced soon.

"Bluesmart has the right team and vision to bring technological innovation to the massive luggage and travel goods market," said Cota Capital general partner Bobby Yazdany. "We are excited by Bluesmart's potential to deliver technologically disruptive products into this space."

Other investors in the round include Fairhaven Capital, Fenox Ventures, FundersClub, PejmanMar Ventures, and Yunqui Partners. The proceeds of the round will be used to enter the market, accelerate production to meet demand, invest in research and development, and finance branding initiatives.

Bluesmart was founded by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs, designers and engineers who encountered several problems with their luggage while traveling internationally and decided to partner to develop the world's first smart luggage. The result of this collaboration is a first-of-its-kind, lightweight, durable, water- and scratch-resistant suitcase that lets customers:

  • Track: GPS+3G real-time tracking worldwide in partnership with Telefonica
  • Lock: Remote digital lock accepted by the TSA
  • Charge: 2 USB chargers with 10,000 mAh capacity -- enough to charge an iPhone six times
  • Weigh: Built-in weight sensors inform via app whether suitcase is within airline limits
  • Connect: Bluesmart app delivers proximity alerts and travel itinerary and reports

About Bluesmart
Bluesmart is the leader in the connected travel products market. With a founding team that includes a PhD in Aerospace Engineering who worked with NASA, MIT students and entrepreneurs with expertise in travel software, design and manufacturing, the company introduced the world's first smart connected carry-on luggage and was awarded as "Most Innovative Product & Service of 2014" by Forbes. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

About the Bluesmart Smart Carry-on
The Bluesmart Carry-on is a high-quality cabin suitcase that can be tracked anywhere in the world, powered by 3G-connectivity (in partnership with Telefonica), allowing users to recover their lost bags from airlines. Additionally, the smart suitcase features a Bluetooth-enabled remote lock that lets users lock and unlock their bags from their smartphones and that locks automatically when the bag is separated from the user, providing maximum safety to the users' belongings. The suitcase also features a built-in battery charger, letting users re-charge their smartphones on the go up to six times. Finally, the suitcase features a weight sensor that helps users avoid paying extra baggage fees or being forced to check for extra weight. Through the companion app, users can track their miles traveled and get smart trip notifications. The Bluesmart Smart Carry-on was named "Best Travel Gear of 2014" by Fast Company.

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