Atomico Ventures, the investment fund of Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, just made a seed investment of $500,000 in Fashiolista, an online fashion community. Having seen Zennström in person, I can vouch for the fact that he is no dandy, so his investment firm must see the potential for solid returns in the area of fashion.
Fashiolista launched in 2010 and provides a “Love” button, which functions in a similar way to Facebook’s “Like” button. Users install a toolbar which allows them to “love” an item from any shopping site and add it to their collection. You can also follow other members to get updates on their latest fashion finds. 1 million items are currently “loved” per month.
Fashiolista is most popular in Brazil and the Netherlands but has members in over 100 countries. The biggest user group is, unsurprisingly, female and aged between 15 and 25. The business model is based on advertising and affiliate fees. In the future, the founders plan to add group deals and marketing intelligence since the “loves” can be used to spot trends in real-time.
Fashiolista launched in 2010, is based in Amsterdam and has 10 employees. Prior to this investment the company was privately funded.