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Ex-Victoria's Secret CEO Invests in ThirdLove, A Startup Promising Better Fitting Bras

The company, which also operates a bra-fitting mobile app, just closed an $8-million funding round.
Photo: ThirdLove

Photo: ThirdLove

After raising an initial round of funding from a host of Silicon Valley venture capital firms in 2013, the data-driven lingerie startup ThirdLove has proven itself promising enough to secure the support of some major players in the intimates field: Lori Greeley, the former CEO of Victoria's Secret, and Laurie Ann Goldman, the former CEO of Spanx. The two women have joined New Enterprise Associates and a range of individuals including REI Chairman John Hamlin and Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht to invest in ThirdLove's $8 million Series A round, which closed this week.

Founded in 2013, ThirdLove is laser-focused on fit, offering up half-cup sizes and encouraging shoppers to use its iPhone app, which measures their bra size based on a few selfies. (Here's Tyler's review of that process.) Up until this point, the brand has kept its product range pretty tight, working hard to perfect a super-comfortable model for everyday wear appropriately called the "24/7" bra. In part, this fresh round of funding will go toward developing and launching new styles, says ThirdLove co-founder Heidi Zak, who previously spent time at Google and Aeropostale. That, and building out its 18-person team, developing retail partnerships and finally launching an Android version of its app, which will help expand its potential customer base.

Though the data sourced from its app users and customers drives much of ThirdLove's ability to develop a good fit — so much so that the team has eschewed flesh-and-blood fit models entirely — Zak sees the fusion of comfort and aesthetics as a large part of ThirdLove's appeal. 

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"You have, very broadly speaking, two categories with bras. There's comfort, which I wear because it supports me, but I really hope that someone doesn’t necessarily see me if I have it on," she says. "Then you have the sexy bra, which is gorgeous and lacy, but it definitely collects dust. It can be itchy, and doesn’t provide a great shape. There aren't a lot of brands that do both."

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Laurie Ann Goldman's name.