The Raden suitcase will get you to the airport on time
Could your luggage make traveling less stressful? That’s the promise of Raden, a smart suitcase that launched about a month ago. The high-design rolling luggage charges your phone and connects to an app that delivers tons of travel information.
When Raden founder Josh Udashkin traveled, he was never inspired by any of the luggage he saw. “Everyone has a rolling bag, but I couldn’t really name many brands, or any brands that seemed affordable, desirable, or technological,” he told us.
Raden’s bags come in two sizes – carry on ($295) and checked ($395) – and in seven colors, the standard black and navy, in addition to pastels like purple and pink. There are two charging ports near the case’s handle, and the battery can be removed and used as a stand-alone power pack.
The companion app gives users traffic alerts, flight details, the suitcase location, and TSA wait times, which could be getting longer. The app also informs users of the case’s weight and notifies them if they are subject to overweight baggage fees. “There’s a lot of great info about travel but it just doesn’t seem to be packaged in a consumer friendly UI,” said Udashkin.
A new release of the app, expected in a few weeks’ time, will explore “gamifying the travel experience in a way,” said Udashkin. Users will gain points for travel and will be sent branded stickers from places they’ve been, a modern version of vintage travel patches.
To get Raden into production, Udashkin received a small amount of funding individually from the five founders of Casper, the mattress startup. Udashkin believes Raden and Casper have a lot in common – both are direct-to-consumer companies bringing a disruptive product to an outdated industry. Raden also received $3.5 million in a seed round led by First Round Capital and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
Raden isn’t the only smart suitcase out there. Bluesmart offers a suitcase with a charger and the ability to track the case. Trunkster charges your phone, has a sliding door entry for easier packing, a built-in scale that tells travelers how much their bags weighs, and for a $40 upgrade fee, bags are GPS enabled.
All these companies are trying to give travel a much needed tech upgrade. “For us it’s really about getting from point A to point B in the most efficient way,” said Udashkin.
Raden bags are available online and at a newly opened store in New York City. Udashkin hopes to open shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles as well and plans to launch new seasonal colors, too.
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