PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OROS today announced $14.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Elizabeth Street Ventures and Enlightenment Capital. Also participating in the financing are leading visionary and entrepreneur Thomas Tull, the Chairman of Snap Inc. Michael Lynton, and Brandon Shainfeld, among others. Equal parts materials technology company and performance apparel brand, OROS is using first-to-market insulation technology to transform advanced thermal materials into technical fabrics. The company’s emerging technology will usher in a new era for the $13 billion outerwear industry.
OROS has made it its mission to evolve the science of staying warm. Their bold vision for outerwear apparel’s potential led them to leverage aerogel technology to create their patented SOLARCORE® insulation in 2015. SOLARCORE® protects against extreme environments. Instead of the bulky layers typically associated with the warmest outerwear, OROS aims to create streamlined silhouettes that keep you warm in below freezing temperatures.
The brand’s scientific methods and countless iterations have resulted in an engineering feat – the invention of a new, lightweight insulated material launching in 2022. The material, which will debut in a new performance apparel collection, incorporates a suite of patents and exclusive rights to underlying NASA IP.
The recent capital raised will allow OROS to further refine the new material, create new apparel products, and invest in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the U.S. OROS’ proprietary technology has never been manufactured in this particular form before, which is why it’s crucial the brand produces the material themselves. The new manufacturing facility outside Boston, Massachusetts will allow them to convert recycled fiber into a novel thermal performance fiber, bringing to life a collection of garments using 3D engineered knitting. The domestic manufacturing line will also enable OROS to customize machinery, equipment, and engineering processes, while consolidating the supply chain in order to effectively and sustainably scale production.
“Since day one, OROS has endeavored to transform insulated apparel, using only the best materials and technologies – some of which have been developed with exclusive access to NASA IP and have been used for their most demanding applications in space,” said Jeff Nash, Chief Technology Officer and VP of Product at OROS. “I’ve been in the industry for decades, and OROS is completely doing things differently. I strongly believe we’re on the cusp of something groundbreaking: recreating the category of insulated products for the industry.”
In addition to the Series A round, OROS is also announcing Rachael Ulman’s appointment to the board of directors. Ulman, who has spent 20+ years in digital retail, is a Venture Partner at Elizabeth Street Ventures and the Founder and CEO of 27 Edge, a boutique retail and consumer consulting agency.
“Since meeting OROS’ founders, Michael Markesbery and Rithvik Venna, several years ago, I’ve been amazed by the potential of their advanced materials science technology for the apparel and accessories market, but also for the broader insulation industry,” said Ulman. “I’m thrilled to be joining the OROS Board, and to continue on this journey with them.”
In addition, industry veteran Hap Klopp serves as board observer. Klopp is best known for acquiring The North Face in 1968 and turning it into a global apparel business that he ran for 20 years.
“What energizes me about OROS is its unique approach to building products,” said Klopp. “OROS is not imbued with the same beliefs that traditional outdoor companies hold, such as the idea that thicker outerwear means better outerwear. OROS has shifted the paradigm, owning an entirely new concept in which thinness can be equated with warmth. The brand’s ability to take an existing idea and flip it on its head is what excites me most about working with them.”
OROS is a team of experimenters, visionaries, and craftspeople united by a shared vision of a future forged from relentless curiosity and innovation. The OROS founders bring a unique scientific perspective to the outerwear industry. As comfortable in a research lab as they are on the side of a mountain, they leverage emerging NASA technology to develop advanced thermal materials and high performance, low impact apparel that equips humans to experience our world unencumbered. For more information, visit www.orosapparel.com.