Business

How do you turn yoga pants into a startup? With Science!

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Science, the L.A.-based incubator, has just launched Ellie, its latest portfolio company.

Much like its Science siblings, Ellie is a subscription commerce site; its particular niche is women’s workout wear. Think of it as a Lululemon of the Month Club. (It also offers a la carte purchase options, but where’s the fun in that?)

Ellie is also announcing today that it raised $2 million in first-round funding from from Trinity Ventures, Rustic Canyon Partners, and Blumberg Capital.

Ellie, like fellow Science companies Wittlebee and Fourth and Grand, is focused on apparel; however, Ellie’s lineup of workout clothing takes advantage of the incubator’s Los Angeles location at the heart of the garment industry.

All Ellie items are designed and manufactured in the United States; in fact, an Ellie spokesperson told VentureBeat that Ellie is running out of a very large warehouse and was one of the first Science companies to get its own space as quickly as it did.

Every month, Ellie will feature 24 new styles in its lineup. The items are shopped around Facebook to gauge consumer reactions and are then manufactured immediately. All this means Ellie workout gear is likely to be spot-on trends.

“With an onsite pattern maker, they can showcase designs they are testing across social media to get users/fans to decide if they like them, and if it’s popular, the outfit is manufactured within four days and available for mass market retail,” a rep told VentureBeat via email. “That’s lightening speed for clothing manufacturing.”

The lack of highly sophisticated tech is becoming part of the Science blueprint. Rather than churning out developer-founded companies with intricate technological components and services that rely on cutting-edge stacks, this incubator is focused on the business side: consumer demand, access to product, ability to create a marketplace.

And each business takes money from its users. You won’t find any wishful thinking, ad-based business plans here, aiming for big traffic numbers and hoping money from brands will follow suit.

Ellie’s monthly subscription plan brings members two items for $50 per month. Here’s a quick look at the 16 launch items, as well as the Ellie site:

“Making time and funds available for a superior gym and workout experience is hard enough for most of us,” said Marcus Greinke, co-founder and CEO of Ellie, in a statement on the launch.

“Why should you pay $130 or more for workout clothes like yoga pants? “A healthy lifestyle should be attainable for everyone, and Ellie wants to make sure you look and feel good whether you begin or end your day with a trip to the gym.”

Top image credit: Shutterstock


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