Korean fashion e-commerce platform operator ABLY Corporation has achieved massive growth in just three years of its inception. Now in 2022, the startup is closer to the status of becoming a unicorn in the South Korea startup ecosystem. The company recently attracted 67 billion won ($55 million) as a pre-series C investment. ABLY’s corporate value is now 900 billion won ($746 million).
This investment round was led by Shinhan Financial Group’s SI Fund, managed by Shinhan Capital, as a new investor. Existing investment institutions, LB Investment, SV Investment, Capstone Partners, Kolon Investment, and Intervest, participated as follow-up investors. The pre-Series C investment is the first in six months since the investment in the Series B extension round worth 62 billion won in June last year.
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Since its official launch in March 2018, ABLY has attracted a total of 173 billion won in investment, the largest in the women’s fashion shopping industry. ABLY Corporation achieved 700 billion won in transaction value last year. This is an 84% increase from the previous year, and the transaction amount is expected to exceed 1 trillion won this year.
As per data analysis /retail analysis service WiseApp, ABLY ranked third most used shopping app by Koreans, and it is continuing its explosive growth in the style area. Shinhan Financial Group, who participated as the lead investor this time, said, “We paid attention to the unique business strategy and technology of ABLY, a style specialist that deals with fashion, beauty, and life in the rapidly growing e-commerce market. We highly appreciated ABLY’s overwhelming growth potential and global market expansion potential,” he said, explaining the reason for the investment.
Through this investment, ABLY plans to build the next commerce ecosystem by advancing AI taste recommendation service and technology, strengthening the Dongdaemun fulfillment service, and accelerating global expansion. It is trying to expand into a ‘chain platform’ that introduces a production brokerage process so that anyone with talent can quickly start an e-commerce business.
ABLY CEO Kang Seok-hoon said, “We plan to expand our sales channels to the global market by advancing ABLY’s personalized recommendation algorithm to establish itself as a leading style commerce platform that connects products that suit users’ tastes. And we will build a new concept of next commerce ecosystem where anyone can find their style.”
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