With $400k round led by Dundee VC, Bulu Box set to hire, push marketing
Bulu Box continues to find fertile ground for raising funds in Nebraska.
Paul and Stephanie Jarrett (left), Bulu Box's husband and wife co-founders, moved their young company from San Francisco to Lincoln earlier this year, thanks in part to the lure of $100,000 in financing from a group of investors that included Dr. Jim and Karen Linder and Monte Froehlich of the Nebraska Angels.
Now, Bulu Box, a service that mails subscribers boxes of vitamin and supplement samples, has raised an additional $400,000 in a Series A round led by Omaha's Dundee Venture Capital and featuring additional investment from Jim and Karen Linder.
Paul Jarrett said in a phone interview Friday that Bulu Box would use the funds to make new hires, launch a marketing campaign and cover growing costs of storage and distribution.
The hires will include programmers, brand relationship managers and a customer service representative, bringing Bulu Box to nine full-time employees.
Those new employees will work from new digs, as Bulu Box last week moved into an office in Lincoln's Haymarket district after occupying a variety of temporary workspaces since moving to Nebraska.
Paul Jarrett said Dundee has expertise that nicely complements his team's strengths and cited Dundee founder Mark Hasebroock's previous experience as a founder of ecommerce startup Hayneedle as a big asset.
"It's not just money," Jarrett said of the relationship with Dundee. "It’s more about kind of a partnership with them and their experience in the space. They really fill in kind of areas of weakness that we have, and it was just a really good fit, a really good partnership."
Hasebroock (left) said Dundee is excited by the "freshness" that the Jarretts bring to what he sees as a promising sector, health and wellness products. Hasebroock hopes Dundee can help Bulu Box as the startup looks to rapidly expand its customer base.
"We just want to help them acquire customers," Hasebroock said in a phone interview. "It's something that we’re familiar with doing — customer acquisition and getting as many customers as they can."
Jarrett declined to discuss specific figures regarding subscribers or revenue but said he's eager to see what a concentrated marketing push will mean to both numbers.
"We haven't really put together a full campaign, and we get subscribers all the time," he said. "So we’re really excited and on edge to see when we start with our full-blown marketing efforts how it's going to take off."