Thread raises $22m in latest funding round, targets expansion
today Oct 16, 2018
Menswear personalised styling service Thread has raised almost £17 million (actually $22 million) in Series B funding with the company’s latest investment round attracting Balderton Capital, Beringea, Forward Partners, and H&M’s investment arm H&M CO:LAB.
The six-year-old London-based company operates an e-tail and styling app and has now raised $40 million in total. It plans to use the proceeds of the latest fundraising to grow the brand further and to expand its technical, AI and product teams. The company also wants to go international in the future but has no specific timeline for this yet.
Importantly too, it’s reaching out to its customers and will compete its fundraising round on Crowdcube later this year, allowing ordinary investors to buy a small stake in the company’s future.
Thread was founded by Kieran O’Neill, Ben Kucsan, and Ben Phillips and this week O’Neill said: “More than ever, guys care about dressing well, which is why menswear is a growing market. But they face an overwhelming number of options on the high street and online.
“Since the beginning of Thread we have always built the service in collaboration with our customers. We feel lucky that this has resulted in a very loyal, engaged customer base. We’re excited to now give them the opportunity to invest in the business on the same terms as our professional investors, and share in our success.”
Thread has signed up a large number of brands with more than 50 joining in the last year alone. They include Barbour, Hugo Boss and Levi’s.
The company’s product works by offering style recommendations based on answers to a number of questions about the shopper’s style, size, budget, and preferred brands.
The answers to the questions allow the company to match the shopper with a personal stylist who uses the firm’s AI to recommend clothing and accessories for them.
It cuts out the whole process of browsing irrelevant pieces and searching the web as the customer can then browse an e-store that only contains items that fit their criteria.
And like the best AI programs, it learns as it goes along so the recommendations become more personal with every visit.
Management wants it to become a household name and will soon launch a new marking push with its first outdoor campaign on London underground.
Existing investors before the new funding round included DeepMind co-founders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, Y Combinator and Andrew Jennings, the ex-President of Saks Fifth Avenue.
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