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Angel Investor (Individual)

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Investments

28

Portfolio Exits

6

About Brian Spaly

Brian Spaly Headquarter Location

United States

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Bonobos cofounder Andy Dunn describes how he changed his unstylish ways to run a top fashion brand: 'We needed a fashion-startup front man, not a neon orange liability'

May 11, 2022

Email address By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy . How do you run a fashion company if you're not fashionable yourself? Andy Dunn recalls finding himself in this very predicament as cofounder and former CEO of menswear brand Bonobos in his new memoir "Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind," which hit shelves Tuesday. In the book, Dunn recalls meeting his Bonobos cofounder Brian Spaly while the two were students at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. "We became fast friends and decided to room together at Schwab, the dorm where most first-year Stanford business school students lived," Dunn wrote. "I admired Spaly. He was better at sports. He was funnier. He had more money. He was self-reliant, disciplined, and frugal. I was none of those things." As for the most important difference between them, Dunn writes, "What defined our future, though, was this difference: he was fashionable and I was not." The two went on to launch Bonobos online in 2007, at first only selling pants before offering other clothing items. Spaly was skeptical about Dunn being CEO of the company because of his approach to clothing, according to the book. "Spaly and I were on a run," Dunn recalled. "He made a comment that should have served as a bit of a warning. 'My only problem with you running this company is you're just not that fashionable.' It was cutting and true." "But Spaly was right: for a guy running a fashion company, fashion was not my strong suit," Dunn wrote. "I wore weird combinations. We had a thicker orange corduroy pant, with fatter wales, called the F. Scotts. I paired those with a tight-fitting T-shirt I'd bought on eBay, a replica Walter Payton Chicago Bears jersey, matching the orange pop of the Bears' stripes to the pants. As Spaly would say: 'Oh boy.'" As the two started building Bonobos, Spaly stepped in to lend a hand with Dunn's sartorial style, the book says. "Spaly started buying me clothing," Dunn wrote. "We needed a fashion-startup front man, not a neon orange liability. He went to a Ralph Lauren sample sale and came back with a light purple cashmere sweater, a half-zip cotton pullover, and a prep school black-and-red embroidered jacket. He'd suggest which pants I should wear with each item and advise me on compatible shoe purchases." Outside of the book, Dunn has previously spoken about not being particularly stylish. In fact, Bonobos was built partly for men who find themselves in the same boat, he says. "I'm kind of the least likely person that you could imagine to be a CEO of a fashion company, and yet at the same time I think it's almost perfect, because Bonobos is really built to make it easier for guys to get great clothes," he told the Associated Press in 2017. "We built the brand not only for guys who have great fashion sense, but for guys who need a little bit of help."

Brian Spaly Investments

28 Investments

Brian Spaly has made 28 investments. Their latest investment was in Hello Cake as part of their Seed VC on February 2, 2020.

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Brian Spaly Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

2/14/2020

Seed VC

Hello Cake

$1.43M

Yes

2

1/21/2020

Seed VC - III

Cann

$5M

No

19

10/2/2019

Seed VC

PreFix

$2.7M

Yes

2

6/24/2019

Seed VC

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$99M

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10

4/3/2019

Seed - II

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$99M

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10

Date

2/14/2020

1/21/2020

10/2/2019

6/24/2019

4/3/2019

Round

Seed VC

Seed VC - III

Seed VC

Seed VC

Seed - II

Company

Hello Cake

Cann

PreFix

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Amount

$1.43M

$5M

$2.7M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

No

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

2

19

2

10

10

Brian Spaly Portfolio Exits

6 Portfolio Exits

Brian Spaly has 6 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was Chubbies on September 03, 2021.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

9/3/2021

Acquired

1

6/7/2021

Acquired

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$99M

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10

5/13/2021

Acquired

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10

4/17/2018

Acquired

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10

2/20/2018

Acquired

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$99M

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10

Date

9/3/2021

6/7/2021

5/13/2021

4/17/2018

2/20/2018

Exit

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Companies

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Valuation

$99M

$99M

Acquirer

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Sources

1

10

10

10

10

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