Fashion startup Lyst raised $5 million in a first round of funding led by one of the biggest venture capital firms in Europe, DFJ Esprit, as well as Accel Partners.
Lyst lets users curate their own personalized boutique by aggregating the inventories of hundreds of brands, designers, and stores. Users can add items they like to their “lyst” and connect to the retailer’s site when they want to make a purchase. Items range from $6,000 Oscar de la Renta couture gowns to $12 bracelets, and are searchable by category, price, designer, and color.
Consumers can follow their favorite sources of style inspiration and receive a customized shopping newsfeed. Partners include major names in the fashion world such as Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, as well as high-end department stores, fashion magazines, and renowned fashion bloggers. It is also possible to track specific items and receive notifications when they go on sale, or get a message when new products come out.
The online purchasing of apparel and accessories grew faster in 2011 than any other sector of e-commerce, generating $34.16 billion in sales, according to a study by eMarketer. As a result, the number of fashion startups has erupted in the past couple of years. This is partly attributable to shoppers’ increased comfort buying clothes online but is also due to an evolving model for e-commerce that incorporates social media and marketing tools that encourage potential consumers to click that “buy” button.
Lyst’s platform drives millions of dollars in sales for retailers and brands around the world. It is gaining major traction and has doubled its sales each month for the past three months. With this funding, the British startup aims to fuel growth by connecting with more partners and growing its teams in London and New York. It launched in 2011 and competes with other fashion startups like ShopStyle, OpenSky, Svpply, Polyvore, Post, and Fashism.