FashionValet raises ‘smart money’ from Japan’s Start Today

  • Undisclosed Series B comes from Japan’s largest online fashion portal
  • Aims to scale rapidly in SEA, starting with Thailand by end-2016
FashionValet raises ‘smart money’ from Japan’s Start Today

MALAYSIAN e-commerce fashion startup FashionValet said it has secured an undisclosed “multimillion-dollar” Series B investment from Start Today Co Ltd, which runs Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown.
“Start Today is not a traditional VC (venture capitalist) so it wants to keep the commercial details private,” FashionValet chief executive officer Fadzarudin Anuar (pic above) told Digital News Asia (DNA) when pressed for details.
According to an official statement from FashionValet, Start Today recorded annual revenue in excess of US$1.2 billion in 2014.
Fadzarudin said that that the value of the Start Today investment goes beyond the actual amount as his startup has raised “smart money,” since both share similar business models that would allow FashionValet to tap its investor’s knowhow to accelerate its own growth.
“We’re thrilled to have Start Today onboard as an investor. Its experience in building Zozotown into the top fashion e- commerce portal in Japan will prove invaluable to FashionValet as we chart our next stage of growth around the region,” he said in the official release.
“Its experience in managing and sending out tens of thousands of orders a day is something extremely valuable. While our orders are not quite at that level yet, we are definitely getting closer,” he also told DNA.
Meanwhile, Start Today chief financial officer Koji Yanagisawa said that “FashionValet has done an amazing job of developing high-demand brands and products from local designers.
“We feel there is a lot we can share with them with respect to back-end operations,” he said in the official statement.
Meanwhile, the next stage of FashionValet’s growth will involve expanding its Indonesia operations and infrastructure by fourfold by the end of 2016, with Thailand on its radar as well, according to Fadzarudin.
“By Q3 (the third quarter), we will start sourcing for new brands in Thailand and get to know the market there better,” he said.
“The strategy will be similar to Indonesia which has been showing good results, especially in terms of brand acquisition,” he added.
FashionValet also has a small team in Singapore to manage customer service and run its flagship store which will open by June.
Start Today's investment in FashionValet comes nearly one year after the Malaysian startup secured a Series A round, led by Silicon Valley-based Elixir Capital, and also undisclosed.
In the 12 months since, FashionValet said it has doubled its revenue, commenced operations in Singapore and Jakarta, and opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Kuala Lumpur.
Originally launched in 2010, FashionValet provides local fashion designers with an online sales and marketing platform for their products.
Today, it claims over 500 South-East Asian brands, half of them from Malaysia and 180 from Indonesia.
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