Fashion startup Virgio, co-founded by Amar Nagaram, former CEO of Myntra, has raised $37 million in a new round of funding as the fledgling company aims to build a “global fashion brand” in the South Asian market.
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 hasn’t disclosed the seed funding round.)
Virgin says consumers’ fashion preferences change rapidly and they are not satisfied with the incumbents’ offerings. It tries to solve this by streamlining design, production and purchasing processes in ‘real time’, providing Gen Z and the late Millennials with a platform where they can discover and buy the new trendy clothes.
Virgio offers a wide selection of casual, party and ethnic clothing. Every week it adds new selections and customers get big discounts and free shipping.
The startup’s approach has prompted some to draw comparisons between its model and that of the behemoth Shein.
“Traditionally, the fashion industry has worked with depth and discount models,” Nagaram, founder and CEO of Virgio, said in a statement.
“The core of Virgio is the technical base, which always listens to evolving trends on social media platforms and predicts the demand for each trend. This is then fed into our agile and responsive supply chain to deliver the trendiest, elegant yet affordable line possible in near real time. So Virgio is a pioneer in the testing and scaling method, making runway fashion accessible and affordable for all consumers, while eliminating excess inventory for manufacturers,” said Nagaram, a Flipkart veteran who took over the top job from Myntra in 2019 before left the company last year.
The startup says its full-stack approach allows it to reduce the typical eight- to 10-month turnaround time to just one month. The eponymous app has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times, it said. (On Sensor Tower, the app displays very few stats because it’s still too small.)
“There is currently a large underserved market for designer clothes in India. For example, for women, only ~25% of fashion is designer clothes. Thus, India’s fashion industry is at a turning point, driven by changing consumer preferences due to the influence of social media, a key Gen-Z trait to individualize as a form of expression, and the integration of social commerce with social media platforms,” Ashutosh Sharma, head of India Investments at Prosus Ventures, said in a statement.
“We are confident in Virgio’s tech-first model and believe the startup’s expert founding team is uniquely positioned to seize a major opportunity in the Indian fashion industry,” he added.
Dozens 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.