Caraway’s Journey: Late to Market, Early to Success


When Jordan Nathan launched Caraway, his DTC nontoxic cookware company in 2019, he knew the market was crowded with competitors like Our Place and Great Jones. However, starting later than others turned out to be a blessing for Caraway in most aspects.

Joining an already saturated online cookware startup category allowed Caraway to observe its competitors’ products and target audiences closely. Nathan said that this insight enabled Caraway to pivot its strategy and fill gaps left by other brands.

Initially planning to source off-the-shelf pans and target millennials seeking upgrades from IKEA, Caraway adjusted. They focused on wedding registries and beyond, refining their product design, color palette, and pricing strategy.

While competitors sold individual pieces, Caraway decided to exclusively sell cookware sets after noticing the gap in the market. They also engaged with retailers early, contrasting with DTC brands avoiding retail. Today, Caraway sets are available at Target and Costco, leveraging established registry services.

Despite being late to fundraising due to investor commitments to other kitchen brands, Caraway persevered. After a challenging 10-month fundraising period, they closed a seed round with over 100 investors, lacking major VC backing.

Five years later, Caraway’s strategic adjustments have paid off with over $40 million raised in venture capital. The company has expanded into bakeware and food storage, continuing to innovate in the kitchenware market.

Rebecca Szkutak
Rebecca Szkutak
Rebecca is a senior writer that covers venture capital trends and startups. She previously covered the same beat for Forbes and the Venture Capital Journal.

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