When we wrote about Ringly last year, we knew we were onto some seriously awesome wearable tech—and it seems like everyone else knew it too. Over the past six months or so since its launch, the startup has been picking up steam, gaining notoriety as one of the leaders of wearable tech—focusing primarily on fashion before function—and it looks like it’s paying off. Today it was announced the brand has just closed a $5.1 million funding deal from big names like Andreessen Horowitz, High Line Ventures Partners, PCH and Silas Capital.
The money has reportedly been earmarked for manufacturing and design, as Ringly has plans to grow their line and offer devices in multiple storefronts. By March, the brand will be selling their rings at both Shopbop and Bloomingdale’s, which doesn’t come at any surprise given the status of their investors. While the name Andreesen Horowitz offers the brand backing on the technology field, Silas Capital invests in Proenza Schouler, offering them some serious fashion credibility.
The brand has been steadily growing since their first wave of pre-orders in June of last year, selling 1,000 units within the first 24 hours. But part of the reason they’ve been so successful is that they didn’t start off intending to lead the wearables market. “When I started this I wanted to solve a problem, not create a wearable,” Christina Mercando, founder and CEO of Ringly told WWD. “A lot of wearables are trying to cram in features. We want something that helps you but that doesn’t have to be the Swiss army knife of features.”
And she has a point. Ringly won’t let you check your email, take photos, call your sister in Florida or even tell you the time. But it will let you know when you have an incoming alert—be it call, email, text, social media message or alarm. “It’s very focused. The way I imagine this playing is that you’ll have things like Ringly—or maybe a shirt that measures your heart rate or a wrist band [that lets you know] if you’re out in the sun too long,” Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, added. “We see Ringly in that category—in the single-purpose wearable trend. That is different than the Apple Watch. They can both succeed. It’s a different use case to have a full computer on your arm.”