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Gen Z-Friendly Home Decor Brand Dormify Gets Growth Equity Investment

Online dorm room and apartment bedding, furniture and décor retailer Dormify has secured an undisclosed investment from a new growth equity fund co-founded by the one of the execs who started online luxury fashion brands Gilt and Glamsquad.

Launched in 2013, Dormify positions itself as the “go-to resource” for college lifestyle and small space home décor, particularly targeting the Gen Z consumer that is either attending college or is a recent graduate.

Sharing a similar consumer and ethos, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. initially led a $3.45 million Series A investment round in Dormify in 2018 to both propel the online retailer’s growth and establish a strategic partnership for home and apartment décor and accessories.

“We’re thrilled to have Clerisy’s support to accelerate our business at a time when Gen Z is increasingly focused on creating individualized and functional living spaces as a key part of their self-expression,” Amanda Zuckerman, co-founder and chief brand officer of Dormify, said in a statement. “We’re committed to continue listening to what college students want and using technology to create and curate the most relevant assortment of product to inspire our consumers to design a space that looks like them and feels like home.”

Karen Zuckerman, co-founder and chairman of Dormify, added that Clerisy’s investment will “catalyze” the company’s category presence.

“We’re committed to delivering superior investment returns by partnering closely with talented entrepreneurs like Amanda Zuckerman who are innovating to solve problems and meet the evolving needs of consumers,” said Lisa Myers, co-founder and managing partner at Clerisy. “We understand how to help companies like Dormify expand their total addressable market, employ transformative technology, optimize their supply chains, leverage different channels of distribution and create dynamic branding strategies that engage key demographics.”

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Dormify is Clerisy’s first investment. The $100 million firm says it is partnering closely with and investing in entrepreneurs who have “developed innovative solutions for the evolving consumer and are poised to significantly scale and grow their businesses.”

“Roughly 2 million students head off to college each year in the U.S. and we’ve seen Gen Zers enthusiastically invest in putting their individual stamp on their living spaces, even during the pandemic,” said Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder and managing partner at  Clerisy. “Dormify is uniquely positioned to benefit from the home category’s momentum and we see significant additional opportunity for growth in dorm and apartment furnishings and lifestyle. We’re extremely pleased to leverage our collective experience, our investors and our deep bench of diverse experts to support the company to accelerate growth and scale.”

Wilson served as chief merchandising officer of luxury e-commerce platform Gilt.com and later on as the CEO of Glamsquad—two companies she co-founded—but her luxury experience goes beyond these firms, as she also worked in strategy, marketing, sales and operations roles at Bulgari and Louis Vuitton. After leaving Glamsquad, she headed the digital side of pharmaceutical company Allergan. Wilson has either advised or invested in over 50 early-stage businesses and has served on the boards of both public and private companies.

Myers previously served as a partner on the Flagship Buyout Fund at consumer-focused private equity fund L Catterton. Currently, she serves as the president of Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp., a $240 million SPAC in which L Catterton is a minority shareholder. Prior to joining L Catterton, Lisa spent 19 years with Franklin Templeton, where she was an executive vice president and portfolio manager in the firm’s global equity group.