Fashion startups expect a good year, with fashion companies registering record-high earnings last year despite the economic downturn. Investors are showing interest in uniquely and innovatively startups, especially those in recycling, sustainability and eco-fashion.
Korea Investment Accelerator, established by Korea Investment & Finance Holdings, announced it had invested a total of 700 million won ($545k) in three fashion startups – Mint Members, Yunhoe, and Taylortown. The three companies were selected out of 473 that applied for the ‘KIAC Right Companion 2nd program last November and attracted investment. The program is an accelerator cum mentoring platform for startups where selection is made by experts in the industry, which includes investors from Korea Investment Partners, a VC affiliate of Korea Financial Group.
Mint Members is a startup that operates ‘Mint House,’ a service that provides care for premium sneakers and fashion items. Last November, it launched the official service and exceeded 20,000 cumulative downloads in three months. In partnership with a large construction company, it recently decided to provide concierge services for apartments in the first half of the year. Based on this, it is about to complete the pre-series A investment of 600 million won.
Yunhoe operates a circulation fashion platform service ‘MNTC.’ Through a digital encryption solution, it is a service that authenticates clothing and tracks and manages it from the production stage and can continuously resell it. The number of carbon emissions reduced through the entire resale process is also measured and provided as an ESG score. Yunhoe also completed attracting pre-series A investment with a scale of 600 million won.
Taylortown runs ‘Danble,‘ a fashion curation commerce for men in their 30s and 40s. The number of monthly active users ( MAU ) exceeded 35,000 in January by helping men in their 30s and 40s who have difficulty choosing clothing in their styles and sizes. Taylor Town attracted a total investment of 800 million won.
In charge of the investment, Lee Seong- moon said, “If we bring together three different companies in the same fashion field, there will be a synergistic effect. There is a negative perception of commerce and platform startups in the current investment market. Still, we decided to invest boldly after seeing the sincerity and execution power of the three representatives’ business,” he added.
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