Preparing for takeoff – luggage scaleup July is on a journey towards Unicorn status - LaunchVic

Preparing for takeoff – luggage scaleup July is on a journey towards Unicorn status

Case Studies

8 Feb 2023 by Holly Clark

Last Updated: Wednesday 8 February, 2023

When e-commerce experts Richard Li and Athan Didaskalou met in a Melbourne coffee shop in 2018, they instantly connected over their passion for travel.

They quickly spotted a gap in the market for high-quality and stylish suitcases, leading to the idea for July – a luxury travel luggage brand named after the most popular holiday month of the year.

Today, July is one of the most recognisable luggage brands at the airport terminal –and it’s starting to have the impact Richard and Athan believed they could make.

With their popularity on the rise both domestically and globally, the Melbourne-founded business joined LaunchVic’s inaugural 30X30 program to propel them toward Unicorn status.

Not just another suitcase

For most people, purchasing luggage is a necessity rather than a choice. But July is on a mission to help consumers understand why investing in your key travel accessories is the first exciting step in your upcoming adventure.

July’s General Manager, Zhoe Low, explains it all starts by creating a product that exceeds market expectations. In fact, more than 50% of July’s starting capital was spent on the initial design to make sure July offered a built-for-wear product with thoughtful features and a beautiful exterior.

“Our personalisation service includes different fonts, sizes and colours, but we take it a step further, also offering emojis and different languages, including Chinese characters, so customers can truly make it their own.” says Zhoe.

“We also provide a lifetime warranty on every product, with no third-party repairers involved, and accept returns for up to 100 days after the original purchase date.”

The journey so far

As you can imagine, growing a travel brand in the midst of COVID-19 isn’t easy.

But July’s dedication to its customers has paid off, as their products’ popularity continues to skyrocket. A 640% spike in revenue in the past financial year since travel resumed shows just how popular they are.

In 2022, July also won Mumbrella Travel Brand of the Year and took home ‘Fastest growing small to medium-sized business’ at the Smart50 Awards. Its growing team now spans across Australia and the US, and they’ve also opened four retail stores in Australia, three in Melbourne and one in Sydney.

Zhoe says July has been focused on managing the growing pains that any large scaleup experiences, which is why they recruited the expertise of LaunchVic’s 30X30 program.

“Through the 30X30 program we were surrounded with other scaleups and shared about our collective experiences. We learnt from each other, from strategy to execution.” she said.

“A lot of people don’t realise how isolating and daunting it can be to manage a scaleup, and how limited the options are to help guide you through it.”

What’s July’s next destination?

This year, July continues its global expansion, with plans to touch down in New Zealand and the UK.

As one of the nine new promising scaleups selected for the first 30X30 program in 2022, LaunchVic also has high hopes we’ll soon see July as another Unicorn born right here in Victoria.

LaunchVic remains dedicated to its mission of supporting 30 Victorian businesses to achieve unicorn status by 2030 in its 30×30 program.

To learn more, visit our website here.