Fashion startup Virgio, founded by former Myntra CEO Amar Nagaram, has raised $37 million in a fresh round of funding as the young company looks to build a global fashion brand out of the South Asian market.
Prosus Ventures, Alpha Wave and Accel, along with Virgio’s Series A funding, value the one-year-old startup at $161 million (after money). (Virgio says it was founded this year, but did not disclose its seed round.)
Virgio says that consumers’ fashion preferences are changing rapidly and they are not satisfied with the offerings of current companies. Attempting to solve this problem by streamlining the design, manufacturing and purchasing processes in “real time”, it provides Gen-Z and late millennials a platform to discover and purchase new fashion apparel.
Virgio offers a wide range of choices in casual, party and ethnic wear. It adds new selections every week and customers get great discounts and free shipping.
This startup’s approach has led some to compare its model with Shin’s giant model.
“Traditionally, the fashion industry has operated on depth and discount models,” Virgio founder and chief executive Nagaram said in a statement.
“At the core of Virgio is a technology foundation that is always listening to evolving trends on social media platforms and predicts demand for each trend. It then feeds into our agile and responsive supply chain to deliver the most stylish, beautiful and at the same time enable the most cost-effective line in real time. Virgio is therefore pioneering the way to test and scale, making runway fashion accessible and affordable to all consumers, while eliminating excess inventory for manufacturers.
The startup says its full-stack approach allows it to compress a typical eight-to-ten-month lead time into just one month. The app of the same name has already collected more than 100,000 downloads. (In Sensor Tower, the app shows very few metrics because it’s still so small.)
“There is currently a huge untapped market for branded apparel in India. For example, for women, only 25% of fashion is branded clothing. Thus the fashion industry in India is at a turning point, driven by changing consumer preferences as a result of social media penetration, an important characteristic of Gen-Z for individualization as a form of expression, and the integration of social commerce with social media platforms. becomes Ashutosh Sharma, head of India investments at Prosus Ventures, said in a statement.
“We are confident in Virgio’s technology first model and believe the start-up’s experienced founding team is uniquely positioned to capture the huge opportunity in the Indian fashion industry,” he added.
A host of other entrepreneurs — including Mukesh Bansal, Kunal Shah, Binny Bansal, Bhush Aggarwal, Vidit Atri, Saif Ali Khan, Sriharsha Majti and Sameer Nigam — also invested in the round.