Fashion startup Virgio, co-founded by Amar Nagaram, former chief executive of Myntra, has raised $37 million in a new round of funding as the young company seeks to build “a global fashion brand” in the South Asian market.
Prosus Ventures, Alpha Wave and Accel co-led Virgio’s Series A funding, which values the one-year-old startup at $161 million (post-money). (Virgio says it was founded this year, but has not disclosed its seed funding round.)
Virgio says that consumers’ fashion preferences are changing rapidly and they are not satisfied with the offerings of the powerful. It is trying to solve this by streamlining the process of design, manufacturing and buying in “real time”, offering Gen Z and late millennials a platform where they can discover and buy new fashionable clothes.
Virgio offers a wide selection of casual, party and ethnic wear. Every week it adds new selections and customers receive great discounts and free shipping.
The startup’s approach has prompted some to draw comparisons between its models and those of the behemoth Shein.
“Traditionally, the fashion industry has operated on depth and discount models,” said Nagaram, Virgio’s founder and chief executive, in a statement.
“At the core of Virgio is the technology foundation, which constantly listens to evolving trends on social media platforms and anticipates demand for each trend. This is then fed into the agile and responsive supply chain to allow the most trendy, elegant and affordable lines in almost real time. So, Virgio is pioneering the test and scale method, making runway fashion accessible and affordable for all consumers, while eliminating excess inventory for manufacturers,” said Nagaram, a Flipkart veteran who took over Myntra’s top job in 2019. before he left the company last year.
The startup says its comprehensive approach will allow it to condense the typical time from eight to 10 months to just one month. His eponymous app has already amassed more than 100,000 downloads, he said. (On Sensor Tower, the app reflects very small measurements because it’s still too small.)
“There is a huge untapped market for branded clothing in India now. For example, for women, only ~25% of fashion is branded clothing. The fashion industry in India is thus at an inflection point, driven by changing consumer preferences as a result of the influence of social media, an important characteristic of Gen-Z’s individuality as a form of expression, and the integration of social commerce and social media platforms, ” said Ashutosh Sharma, head of India Investments at Prosus Ventures, in a statement.
“We are confident in Virgio’s technology-first model and believe the startup’s expert founding team is uniquely positioned to capture a huge opportunity in India’s fashion industry,” he added.
Scores of other entrepreneurs – including Mukesh Bansal, Kunal Shah, Binny Bansal, Bhavish Aggarwal, Vidit Aatrey, Saif Ali Khan, Sriharsha Majety and Sameer Nigam – also invested in the round.