South Korea’s fashion industry, estimated at about US$40 billion as of 2018, continues to attract investors who want to cash in on the country’s booming appetite for everything fashion related.
StyleShare, an app-based fashion discovery platform based in Seoul, South Korea, announced raising ₩25 billion (US$21 million) in its latest funding round backed by alternative investment Stonebridge Capital, KB Securities, and several other Korean investors.
The firm, founded in 2011 by Chaeyeon Song, Hunchul Park, Jayong Yoon, Karsten Bjork Rasmussen, said the fresh funding brings its total funds raised to date to ₩55 billion (US$46.4 million).
Premier Partners, SBI Investment, Mirae Asset Ventures, Mirae Asset Capital, KTB Network, IMM Investments have also participated in the funding round. StyleShare said it would use the fresh capital to boost its content development efforts and further expand Korean online fashion startup 29cm, which the company acquired for $28 million in 2018.
StyleShare, which competes with several fashion discovery platforms such as 21 Buttons, Xiaohonghu, Limeroad, and Female Daily, allows users to discover, follow, and share content and products around fashion. Users can post their fashion snaps and get feedback, tag products, follow brand stories and product releases, and maintain their editorial content while gaining followers.
The platform, which can be accessed via mobile and desktop, claims to have over 6.2 million users from over 120 countries.
“The top priority before launching the company was creating a fashion community, and now that is what differentiates us from other fashion platforms,” CEO of StyleShare CEO Ja-young Yoon was earlier quoted as saying.
StyleShare also plans to launch Live Commerce early next month and collaborate with MCN, a local creator, to boost its video capabilities and provide a new shopping experience for customers.
The funding in StyleShare comes as entrepreneurs are cashing in on South Korea’s bustling fashion industry, which is valued at about US$40 billion as of 2018. The country’s K-POP culture plays a strong influence in the booming fashion retail scene, according to reports.
Recently in Singapore, BlinQ, a Southeast Asian luxury online fashion marketplace, announced that it had forged a partnership deal with YOOX, a global online fashion retailer. The partnership brings an additional of over 700 luxury brands to the BlinQ platform. The deal further streamlines customer experience at its marketplace.