The Fascination, a Curated Marketplace Where Consumers Discover & Shop Top Online Brands, Secures $1M in Seed Funding

By Matt Hayes

Funding from top retail and media executives will accelerate the launch of its multi-brand online store and fuel growth initiatives

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, MAY 18, 2021The Fascination, a curated online marketplace where you can discover, research and shop top emerging, mission-driven brands, has raised a $1M seed round to accelerate its growth and fund the design and development of its multi-brand online marketplace. Self-funded and launched in late 2020 by ex-Leesa founders David Wolfe and Matt Hayes, The Fascination helps consumers cut through the clutter to discover and buy high-quality, purpose-driven brands and products. 

The site already features a curated selection of 150+ top online brands across a range of categories, including marquee names like Allbirds, Warby Parker and Brooklinen alongside top emerging brands like Vuori, Haus, Caraway, and Juneshine. At The Fascination, you can read in-depth product reviews and news, browse and discover brands via its searchable directory, and shop bestselling products – all in one place.

The Fascination’s new investors and members include 20 founders/CEOs of digital businesses, ranging from influencer agencies and email platforms to SEO agencies and brand builders. 

“As CEO of Leesa, I realized consumers need help and validation from trusted reviews when they make a purchase. I also hated the way Amazon commoditizes products by offering cheap lookalike alternatives alongside premium products,” said The Fasincation’s CEO David Wolfe. Co-founder and COO Matt Hayes added, “Our brand partners have really embraced us because they love being sold alongside brands they admire in other categories, and they love the value we help create for them. Consumers love The Fascination because they can find all the brands they love in a single place and find new ones they may not have heard of before.”

Participants in The Fascination’s seed round include Kat Cole, ex-President of Focus Brands, Taylor Holiday, CEO of Common Thread Collective; John Sutton, President of Red Ventures, Joe Speiser, serial entrepreneur and Petflow founder and Gabby Slome, co-founder of Ollie Pets. The Fascination team also boasts DTC investor & operator Nik Sharma and The Hustle founder Sam Parr as founding advisors.

Kat Cole, former President of Focus Brands and an investor in and advisor to The Fascination shared her enthusiasm for what The Fascination team is building: “In just a few months, The Fascination has built direct relationships with over 150 top emerging and established brands across direct-to-consumer. I love the way The Fascination curates brands by their “science and soul,” ensuring each meets standards for high quality and purpose-driven values.”

About The Fascination

Based in Virginia Beach, Va., The Fascination, is a curated online marketplace where consumers discover, research and shop top emerging, mission-driven brands. Launched in late 2020 by ex-Leesa founders David Wolfe and Matt Hayes, The Fascination helps consumers cut through the clutter to discover high-quality brands and products that align with their values. The Fascination features 150+ top emerging and established brands across direct-to-consumer, including: Allbirds, Burrow, Warby Parker, Caraway, Keeps, Daily Harvest, Brooklinen, CUTS Clothing and Maude, among others. 

Contact Info:

For more info, contact Amanda Hitchcock, Press Coordinator, at [email protected]