Berlin-based personalised fashion start-ups Outfittery and Modomoto are merging in an effort to accelerate growth in Europe, where they compete with online-only retailer Zalando’s own bespoke clothing business.
For men, there are three types of shopping, says Outfittery cofounder Julia Bösch. There’s when you know exactly what you want (which Calvin Klein underwear to replace); when you know roughly want you want (and the search for the right shade, size and style of jeans is utterly stressful); and when you don’t know what you need, but fancy something new to wear for work or that special event or summer.
The problem, says Bösch, is that unless you’re replacing something “basic” on Amazon, shopping today is overwhelming: “All you actually want to know is what fits and looks good.” This is why Bösch’s Germany-based business combines AI and 150 real-life stylists to personalize boxes of clothes just for you.
Outfittery, a curated shopping service for men’s clothing, has raised $22 million in a new funding round led by London and New York-based VC firm Octopus Ventures. The so-called “U-Start Club” also joined the round — they are an Italian group of investors which incorporates several family offices tied to the fashion industry in the country. You’d expect Italian fashion houses to invest in such a company, right? Existing investors Northzone Capital, Highland Europe, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Mangrove Capital Partners also participated. The startup will use the funds to expand in Europe and improve customer experience. Outfittery has now raised $59.81m in total, in five rounds from 12 Investors.
Founded in 2012 by Anna Alex, Julia Bösch and Tobias Nendel, Outfittery curates clothes shopping for men. The company employs around 80 stylists who personalise the online shopping experience for its 200,000-plus customers. So far, they have raised €20 million, with an investment round in March 2015 that included Mangrove Capital Partners.
Outfittery had a stellar year, raising $20 million from Scandinavian investor Northzonr. Led by co-founders Anna Alex and Julia Bösch, it now operates in eight European countries and claims over 200,000 customers. Outfittery's business model is effective: Male customers are asked to fill out a questionnaire on the website, and style experts match them with attire that fits their preferences. If you soon start seeing more sharply dressed men on the streets of Europe, you might know why!