The Pakt, Present, and Future: A note from Malcolm
Hello friends of Pakt. We’ve arrived at another exciting inflection point in the Pakt journey! This one is about money, or more specifically, funding.
Normally, we’d much prefer to talk about products, travel, or almost anything else before talking about money. However, this is a discussion about money that will enable more awesome travel products, more responsible business practices, and a bigger circle of Pakt friends – so please bear with me.
It’s been an exciting and fun 3+ years. We’ve launched multiple products, built an awesome team, and rallied this amazing community. Hopefully, along the way, we’ve also broken a few unwritten rules about how a company should operate. We have no plans of slowing down, but it became clear that reaching our next phase of growth will require additional capital.
Deciding to raise money to grow a business is no small decision, and it forces any founder to think long and hard about where they want to go with the company and what’s important – essentially, what is their vision for the company? As a brand that prides itself on transparency and thrives on sharing the journey with our community, it only makes sense that I share that vision with all of you.
I’ll recap a few important points for those that may not have been around in the early days of Pakt:
- In 2016, I was laying the groundwork for a new venture to use “design for good” to fight ocean plastics. Launching another bag company was not on the radar.
- In 2017, we decided to relaunch a single bag because of your requests as a one-time crowdfunded project.
- In 2018, because of your incredible support and enthusiasm, we decided to turn that project into a company.
My one stipulation throughout these decisions was that Pakt include those environmental efforts, and we avoid producing products for the sake of producing products at all costs (IMO, more products is the last thing the world needs).
We enjoyed financial comfort from the earliest days when the bag relaunch crowdfunding campaign was successful far beyond our expectations. Developing products is expensive and it’s uncommon to be able to launch and grow a brand without seeking investment capital. We were able to up to this point though, thanks to the support of this community.
The biggest surprise to me in this whole journey has been how much I enjoy building a company that strives to do things differently. I’m a designer by training, but I’ve learned I’m really a builder at heart. ‘Creating’ is why I enjoy design, and it's also what I enjoy most about building this company. Coming up with ways to do things that I feel good about as a manager, and our team (AKA the “Pakt Fam”) feels good about as a company; then seeing how much team members enjoy our culture and how our work resonates with our community IS AWESOME.
So, what’s my vision for Pakt?
Simply put, more of the same. There are as many ways to run and grow a business as there are businesses but we really, really, like the way we’re doing it. We think of Pakt as much more than products and much more than a company. It’s a family, a community, a bar raiser, and a leader that’s hopefully just getting started!
The Pakt Fam is fiercely independent, so we were reluctant to raise capital in any way that might jeopardize that independence. As we explored options and learned more about the newish but growing option of equity crowdfunding, we knew we’d found the winner. We launched with crowdfunding and a large part of our audience found us through our three product launch campaigns. So, why wouldn’t we return to the crowd to give our community the opportunity to be a part of our growth before going to traditional investors!?
Our team has accomplished a lot working very lean. Naturally, there are compromises that have to be made and things that simply aren’t possible when stretching every dollar. If we’re able to raise the funds we need through our equity crowdfunding campaign, we plan to put it to use building on the solid foundation we’ve laid. We have a lot of product ideas in the queue that require capital to bring them to market. With funding, we want to push even harder to improve the environmental and social credentials of our supply chain. Last, we know that there are a lot more people out there that don’t yet know about Pakt – people, like all of you, that grow from travel experiences and know the value of responsibly-sourced quality gear to support those enriching adventures. We’ll use a portion of any funds we raise to help reach more of those people to grow this amazing community. We’ll probably grow the Pakt Fam a little too.
We’re looking forward to growing and building this movement called Pakt with all of you!
As always, huge gratitude to all of you for being a part of this journey.
If you’re inclined, you can see our equity crowdfunding campaign on Republic, here. Of course, whether you have any interest in investing or not, we welcome your help spreading the word.