A leading direct-to-consumer ad agency behind upstarts including Harry's and Hims just raised $14 million to spin off into its own multi-brand DTC company

A leading direct-to-consumer ad agency behind upstarts including Harry's and Hims just raised $14 million to spin off into its own multi-brand DTC company

Emmett and Nick

Pattern co-founders Nick Ling and Emmett Shine

Pattern co-founders Emmett Shine and Nick Ling.

  • Gin Lane, an ad agency that has helped take direct-to-consumer upstarts including Harry's and Hims to market, is spinning off into a multi-brand conglomerate of direct-to-consumer brands called Pattern.
  • Pattern raised $14 million in funding from investors including RRE Ventures, Primary Ventures and Kleiner Perkins to focus on home and wellness companies.
  • It is launching with a line of cookware products called Equal Parts that also will promote cooking as a habit.
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Gin Lane no longer wants to just help other direct-to-consumer companies grow. The creative and design agency that helped launch DTC upstarts including Harry's and Hims to market wants a piece of the burgeoning DTC pie for itself.

Read More: Investors from Greycroft, Science, Lerer Hippeau, and others who control millions of dollars name the direct-to-consumer startups that will blow up this year

The specialist agency is shutting shop and retiring its brand after more than a decade and creating a new company called Pattern that's focused on direct-to-consumer brands geared toward home and wellness.

The company has raised $14 million in funding led by RRE Ventures, Primary Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins.

Pattern wants to build a 21st century model for consumer brands

Pattern said all its brands will be founded on the idea that home is a sanctuary from addiction to work and technology, which has led many people to burnout. To that end, its first brand is a cookware line called Equal Parts, which is designed to promote enjoyment of home life with things like tips to make cooking more fun, in addition to cooking products themselves.

"With more than 10 years of experience, we know how businesses should be built in the direct-to-consumer era," Nick Ling, co-founder and CEO of Pattern and former CEO of Gin Lane, told Business Insider. "We believe we can have a more direct and meaningful impact on our generation's lives and wanted to challenge ourselves and the rest of the industry to build brands for today's consumers."

Pattern will have to compete with other DTC upstarts along with established brands

Creating a conglomerate of in-house DTC brands may seem like a natural evolution for Gin Lane, which has been at the forefront of the DTC boom and has also had equity stakes in clients like Quip and Smile Direct Club in exchange for its services.

Read More: A new breed of ad agency is cashing in on the direct-to-consumer boom, and big agencies are scrambling to catch up

But the DTC landscape has also gotten crowded, with thousands of companies trying to break into categories from mattresses to eyewear. Pattern will not only have to contend with other upstarts but established marketers like Unilever and P&G trying to fight back with their own disrupter brands.

Still, Ling and his co-founder and chief creative officer Emmett Shine are convinced they have cracked the formula for success because they know how to scale DTC brands. They say they've had conversations and live tests with hundreds of consumers and that they plan to regularly get feedback from consumers, which will give them an edge.

"We didn't want to reinvent the wheel in terms of what we're already good at," said Shine. "We wanted to coalesce around something bigger, and more personal to us."