Waqas Ali, one of the co-founders of the show company Atoms, took to Twitter to share his journey and how he met Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian Sr.
His story takes us back to 2014 when he briefly visited the US with a loan of $3,000. He raised another $15,000 from an investor and incorporated the project as C Corp.
Fast Company told the story of @WearAtoms mask project, and our journey in the US as immigrant founders.— Waqas Ali (@waqasali) July 22, 2020
In Feb 2014, I briefly visited US with a $3000 loan in 2014, raised $15,000 from an investor, incorporated our small project as C Corp.https://t.co/Ic0yoMmCqP
From here, an investor in London matched the $15,000 investment and Ali and his wife, Sidra Qasim, managed to return the loan. Together, Ali, Qasim and their colleague Noor made “absolutely beautiful Markhor products, we did a Kickstarter campaign, raised over $170,000, hand-delivered many of our shoes to our backers in time.”
According to Fast Company, the husband-and-wife team closed an $8.1 million investment round for their New York City-based direct-to-consumer everyday shoe brand, Atoms, led by Initialized Capital, the investment firm established by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
“The company quickly made a name for itself by offering quarter shoe sizes (such as 10.25) and allowing customers to mix and match sizes, as most people have two different-sized feet,” the website reported.
We have reallocated our manufacturing capacity to produce masks for everyday wear— Atoms (@WearAtoms) April 15, 2020
Atoms Masks are hand washable, and includes copper yarn, an antibacterial that reduces odor
We are donating 1 mask for every order, and selling them at cost. Pre-order: https://t.co/Fh4Q4WT2kd pic.twitter.com/BhoyjI2xNt
Since April, the duo has also been selling reusable face masks and donate one for each one sold. So far they’ve given more than 1350,000 masks in donations.