TechCrunch today reported that Singaporean fashion retail site Inverted Edge has raised $1.6 million in funding from a government-backed group of VCs.
The timing of the announcement is odd as the e-commerce site doesn’t plan on launching until next month. It will carry a consignment of goods from 36 Asia-Pacific designers, according to CEO, Debra Langley.
The funding comes from Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF), Incuvest, Accel-X and four other undiclosed private investors. Incuvest is a government-appointed VC under its Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS), which offers 85 percent of a decided sum from the NRF if Incuvest comes up with the remaining 15 percent.
What a deal…
Inverted Edge will stick to more high-fashion branding and has secured exclusive designs for their launch day.
Prior to launching Inverted Edge, founder and CEO Debra Langley was the Asia-Pacific president for Brussels-headquartered freight forwarder Borderlinx and the president of DKNY Jeans’ international operations.
Update: We just found the official Press Release
Singapore (PRWEB) February 19, 2013
Inverted Edge, a global online fashion retailer, announced today that it has raised over SGD$2 million (USD$1.6 million) through initial investments by venture capital funds and private investors. Its founding backers include the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF), Incuvest Pte Ltd, an NRF-supported Technology Incubation Scheme incubator, Accel-X Pte Ltd and four other undisclosed private investors.
The initial investment will be used by Inverted Edge to develop a world-class online fashion shopping experience featuring a curated Ready-to-Wear collection from the best of Asia Pacific’s independent designers.
Inverted Edge’s operational headquarters and logistics hub is based in Singapore. Debra Langley, CEO and Founder of Inverted Edge said, “There are tremendous cost and resource constraints for designers in Asia Pacific who want to sell internationally. Building an online storefront, marketing across borders and managing fulfillment and customers requires an enormous investment in time, money and people.”
“Inverted Edge provides all the resources to champion new and independent fashion designers who wish to sell to consumers anywhere in the world. We work with designers who have ambitions to become global brand names and guide them through what they need to sell internationally.”
Inverted Edge works as a one-stop fashion retail advocate — from providing input on seasonal collections and price points, to building brand awareness through global marketing campaigns, and preparing products to be featured on the site. It manages customer enquiries, and sales and logistics, freeing designers from all the complexities of selling online.
When launched, Inverted Edge will offer a unique collection of curated fashion from Asia Pacific’s most talented independent designers. This will meet the growing demand from consumers who want beautiful, interesting fashion that has been thoughtfully curated to reflect their sense of style, is relevant to their lives and offers a consistent point of view.
Langley added, “Over the last few weeks, Inverted Edge has been working steadily with our fashion partners to prepare their amazing collections for our launch. We have set our sights on becoming a successful online fashion retailer that represents some of Asia Pacific’s best independent fashion designers. I am truly excited about the potential and possibilities that lie ahead for Inverted Edge.”
The line-up of fashion designers from around Asia Pacific who will be featured on http://invertededge.com will be announced in March 2013.
The company is one of the pioneering start-ups to be funded by the NRF’s Technology Incubation Scheme that nurtures early stage high tech start-up companies.
Some of the drivers that back Inverted Edge’s global potential include:
- Global e-commerce sales reached USD$1.08875 trillion in 2012 according to eMarketer. It is forecast that total e-commerce sales globally will grow 19.3% year over year.
- In the United States, eMarketer has forecast the apparel and accessories category will lead e-commerce sales growth through the next five years, with sales gains of 20% estimated in 2012. By 2016, this category will be valued at USD$73 billion and is forecast to account for over 20% of all US online retail sales.
- The Economist Intelligence Unit and Boston Consulting Group predict by 2016, online retail is expected to be 23% of the United Kingdom’s retail spend, 11.7% in Australia and 8.9% in Germany.