How This Entrepreneur Convinced Investors That Luggage Can Be Sexy

by MR Magazine Staff

Josh Udashkin is taking on an ambitious challenge: he wants to make luggage sexy. The 33-year-old is the founder of Raden, a high-tech luggage brand whose sleek, pastel-colored cases come with a built-in battery that can charge your phone, and a built-in scale that communicates how much the suitcase weighs via an app (so you can avoid overweight fees at the airport). Cases cost between $295 and $395, depending on the size. When he started working on the company three years ago, Udashkin was confident he had a winner on his hands. But not everyone agreed. To many investors, the idea that a luggage business could be a tech company seemed like a crazy concept. “Fundraising is tough, especially when you’re selling luggage,” Udashkin says.
So he turned to his friends for funding. Lucky for Udashkin, those friends happened to be disrupting another traditional industry: the mattress space. The founders of mattress-in-a-box company Casper put “a small amount” into Raden and introduced Udashkin to other investors. “They were in their second or third month of business,” Udashkin says. “They said, ‘We’ve been through this before. We’ve convinced people that a mattress in a box can sell.’” Read more at Fortune.