Sloomoo Institute Raises $5.8M to Bring Slime to Kids Across the Country – AlleyWatch

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If you stroll Broadway in Soho during a weekend or day in the summer, you’ll see a bunch of kids waiting to head to one of New York’s hottest destinations. Slumeo Institute is a slime-focused experiential destination that combines science and fun sports. “Slumovers” features handcrafted, artisanal slime with refreshing perfume-grade aromas and sounds that become a complete tactile and sensory experience not only for kids but adults as well. The prime Soho location offers a massive 350-gallon mud lake, a mud wall, and a cave built out of mud. Originally started as a popup, the three-year-old startup is expanding to bring the joy of slime nationwide with the opening of new permanent locations in Chicago and Atlanta later this year. Tickets for the Soho location start at $48 and the better experience is $80; Both stamps include custom 8oz slime. In addition to experiential locations, the Slomo Institute also offers slime for sale on its website for nationwide shipping.

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AlleyWatch got in touch with Sloomoo Institute CoFounders Karen Robinovitz and Sara Schiller to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, the latest round of funding, and more…

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

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We raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. Nicole Shanahan led our rise with the participation of Raptor Group, along with a few others, including Randy Zuckerberg.

Tell us about a product or service that Sloomoo Institute offers.

Slumeo Institute is an experiential destination that taps into the joy of multi-sensory play through hand-crafted, artisanal slime and #satisfying experiences. Our ticketed experiences provide much-needed respite from the highly digital nature of the modern world and, instead, keep us in touch with the physical world and ourselves.

What inspired the start of the Slumu Institute?

Longtime friends Karen Robinowitz and Sarah Schiller came together to envision an experience that would make the benefits of sensory play accessible, advanced and exciting – with a shared love of mud and contemporary art. Karen founded the first talent management agency for digital influencers, is credited with pioneering the social media influencer market, and has written three books—but her life has been twisted and turned with loss and grief (as that life does), and she eventually found herself away from her phone, sitting in front of a tub of mud with her friend’s daughter, smiling and laughing for the first time in a long time. Sarah Schiller is a serial entrepreneur and prolific arts patron who has co-authored several books on uncommissioned art and street art. Sarah’s daughter and husband have physical and cognitive disabilities that lead them to create as inclusive spaces as possible, as well as the mental health benefits of sensory play to reduce stress and aid in grief management.

How is the Slumu Institute different?

The Slumu Institute is unlike any other recreational experience. It immerses you in a transformative, mud-filled world through touch, sound, smell and sight. Designed by contemporary artists and renowned architects to flow more like a gallery than a playground, the sophisticated space mixes science and magic and elevates the way we have traditionally thought of entertaining design. Is. Highlights include a DIY bar that offers 60 scents (think sweet, fruity, floral, spa vibes, and more), 40 colors and 150 charms to create over four million slime creations, dozens of wats your hands can dip your hands in. For, “Slumu Falls” where visitors can stand under a mud cascade, “Lake Slumu” which provides 350 gallons of mud to walk on after wiping your feet with alcohol, inspired by a Yayoi Kusama Obliteration Room” Slime and Repeat Wall,” Kinetic Sand® “Dune”, ASMR experiences, soundscapes, fragrance discovery, immersive videos, AR surprises and more.

The Slumu Institute is also proud to be fundamentally inclusive. We’re committed to creating a welcoming space for everyone – perfect for family outings but equally fun for adults. Since launch, we have built a neurodiverse, inclusive workforce at both the retail and corporate level.

What market does Sloomoo Institute target and how big is it?

Sloomoo is designed and enjoyed for people of all ages, abilities and interests. We opened our flagship location in NYC in 2019 but are excited to expand our destinations across the US, with Chicago and Atlanta expected to open in November.

What is your business model?

Slumu Institute is a ticketed destination, but we also operate an e-commerce shop where customers can purchase Slumu Slime creations and collections. Our new destinations will have a more prominent retail presence where guests can purchase slime in person.

How are you preparing for a possible economic downturn?

During tough times, it becomes more important for people to do meaningful things – experiences over superficial purchases. We are a world of making memories, especially for families. Each ticket comes with an 8oz slime that our guests design, which has a retail price of $16. We are committed to exploring dynamic pricing, which will also vary based on the time of day.

How was the funding process?

It was exciting to be in front of known game-changing entrepreneurs across multiple agencies and to see them react to our concept and business model in such a positive way. But it was also a long process – we wanted to make sure we got the right people who have the money. It also wasn’t an easy process – everyone digs into the numbers, but they have to. You are asked very tough questions, although we were prepared for them because we have a strong brand and influential story, as well as a serious long-term vision.

What were the biggest challenges you faced while raising capital?

There were a handful of men who didn’t take us seriously based on anything other than our being women and what we looked like. “Your deck and numbers are strong, but when we look at your bio page, you are all dressed in such funny clothes. You look like serious entrepreneurs versus cool girls,” said one VC in fact. It was a bit shocking!

There were a handful of men who didn’t take us seriously based on anything other than our being women and what we looked like. “Your deck and numbers are strong, but when we look at your bio page, you are all dressed in such funny clothes. You look like serious entrepreneurs versus cool girls,” said one VC in fact. It was a bit shocking!

Challenges also included our concept being so new – people don’t always “get” it without seeing us in person. Understanding this requires a very forward thinking investor.

What factors about your business inspired your investors to write checks?

Those who came to experience – and to touch – this for themselves are the ones who almost immediately stopped. What they all connected with collectively was how enjoyable the experience was and how magical they felt as adults. They also understood the helpful opportunities of our world, from living character to international expansion as media properties. It is not always easy to digest this information on deck or call as it is finicky.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

Right now our focus is on expansion. By the end of the year, we will have a total of three Slumu Institutions open and operating, with more to come in 2023 and onwards.

What advice can you give to companies in New York that don’t have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Be strategic and wise. Invest in key senior management. Know when to step back and what moments are worth the money and what aren’t – what enhances your brand and leaves a lasting memory on your audience is what counts. Also, surround yourself with smart people who are good at something you are not.

Where do you see the company going in the near term?

In addition to opening up ticketing experiences in more locations across the country, we look forward to exploring international licensing opportunities and media developments, including book publishing, entering the metaverse and more.

Which is your favorite restaurant in the city?

Tough Call – We love many. We are both pescatarians and love sushi so Bond, Blue Ribbon Sushi and Nobu are staples. Palma has the most amazing GF Mushroom Pasta and Salmon dishes.

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