Bonobos Raises $18.5 Million to Sell Better-Fitting Pants

Bonobos got its start three years ago promising men “better-fitting pants” sold over the internet.

Now it has raised $18.5 million in venture capital to tell more people about it.

The funds raised today will give the New York-based company the cash to add a sales and marketing team. The goal is to increase its relatively small customer base of 32,000 customers to 100,000 in 2011.

Bonobos, which is named for a kind of chimpanzee, was started by Andy Dunn while he was at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Dunn himself professes to like clothes, but not shopping.

Despite its tiny footprint, Bonobos is on pace to have $15 million in annualized revenues, and in the past six months alone has tripled its business. It has a 50 percent return rate based on selling well-fitting, comfortable clothes and offering great customer service.

Investors participating in the round include Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel Partners, along with a handful of angels. To date, the company has raised $26.25 million.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work