June 2, 2022
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Unusual

Reimagining loyalty: Our investment in TYB

Rachel Star
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Reimagining loyalty: Our investment in TYBReimagining loyalty: Our investment in TYB
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Editor's note: 

For some people, their community comes from shared hobbies or rooting together for the same sports team. For me — and a whole generation of consumers — our allegiances are built through a different kind of fandom. We proudly wear our Outdoor Voices Exercise Dresses like a team jersey and dab our cheeks with Glossier Cloud Paint. We carry our groceries in branded tote bags and cover our laptops with stickers to showcase what we’ve bought. It’s not just the products we love; it's the community that comes along with them. Each purchase acts as a ticket to join the club. 

My laptop sporting stickers from brands that matter to me – Glossier, Allraise, Toms, Nuggs, and more

However, a lot has changed since DTC darlings like Outdoor Voices and Glossier skyrocketed in popularity. First off, innovation in the commerce stack has lowered the barrier to entry for new brands. Second, efficient advertising arbitrage is no longer a viable path for growth.

Brands today are structurally reliant on a handful of ad platforms that simply funnel eyeballs to the highest bidder. With this in mind, strong brands need to build community, loyalty, and strong relationships with customers. No one knows this better than Ty Haney, founder of Outdoor Voices and pioneer in the community-led space. After writing the playbook, she’s just the right person to disrupt it. 

Noticing the shift in the DTC market, Ty was inspired by the supercharged communities of web3, where users of a product are owners. It was that insight that inspired Ty's next category-defining company: TYB.

The TYB platform reimagines the loyalty experience. By making customers a part of the team, brands don’t have to buy their loyalty — they can earn it. TYB offers consumers a consolidated platform to interact and collaborate with your favorite brands. Using the TYB “wallet” functionality, customers can showcase the brands they love and the communities that they are a part of (much like my laptop cover!). 

With my background in the retail sector and the Unusual Team’s deep expertise in community (Sarah Leary) and loyalty (Lars Albright) — this was a space that we’d been tracking closely for a while. After writing a small check into TYB’s pre-seed round last October through Unusual’s SPARK program, and getting a chance to start working with Ty and the team, it became clear that this was a perfect fit.

As Ty recently said, “I love that the majority of the Unusual Ventures team has real operational experience and domain expertise focused at the intersection of retail, consumer tech and community building. We are excited to be partnering with Unusual to expand our web3 community commerce tools and help brands supercharge growth via their most loyal fans.”

We have been blown away by this team’s execution speed and how they are attacking the market authentically. I am absolutely thrilled to deepen our relationship with Ty, Zack, and Alex by leading this new round of funding and officially joining the TYB board.

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