Fashion startup Virgio, co-founded by former Myntra CEO Amar Nagaram, has raised $37 million in a new funding round.
Prosus Ventures, Alpha Wave and Accel jointly led Virgio’s Series A funding, valuing the year-old startup at $161 million post-money. (Virgio says it was founded this year but has not disclosed a seed funding round.)
Virgio said that consumers’ fashion tastes are changing rapidly and they are not satisfied with existing products. It seeks to solve this by streamlining the design, manufacturing and buying process in ‘real time’ and providing a platform where Gen Z and late millennials can discover and shop new trendy apparel.
Virgio offers a wide selection of casual, party and ethnic wear. New selections are added every week and customers receive big discounts and free shipping.
The startup’s approach prompted a comparison of that model with that of the giant Shein.
“Traditionally, the fashion industry has operated on a deep discount model,” said Virgio founder and CEO Nagaram in a statement.
“At Virgio’s core is a technology foundation that constantly listens to evolving trends on social media platforms and anticipates the demand for each trend. In this way, Virgio pioneered the test-and-scale method to make runway fashion accessible and affordable for all consumers. At the same time, we are eliminating excessive inventories at manufacturers.”
The startup says its full-stack approach cuts lead times from typically eight to ten months to just one month. The eponymous app has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times, the company said. (On Sensor Tower, the app is still too small to reflect very few metrics.)
“Currently, India has a large underserved market for branded apparel. For women, for example, only about 25% of fashion is branded apparel. It is at an inflection point, driven by changing consumer preferences driven by the influence of social media, a key Gen Z trait for personalization as a form of expression, and the integration of social commerce and social media platforms. Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments in India at Ventures, said in a statement:
“We are confident in Virgio’s tech-first model and believe that the founding team of experts in this startup are uniquely positioned to seize great opportunities in the Indian fashion industry. ‘ he added.
Numerous entrepreneurs also invested in the round, including Mukesh Bansal, Kunal Shah, Binny Bansal, Bhavesh Agarwal, Vidit Aatrey, Saif Ali Khan, Sriharsha Majety and Sameer Nigam.