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Facebook is the new Bergdorfs: Zindigo paves the way for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs

My love of clothing rarely makes me any money. Quite the opposite in fact. However, a fashion startup called Zindigo has come up with a way to help me indulge my style obsessions in a way that actually adds to my bank account, and its own.

Zindigo announced today that it raised $4 million in angel funding.

Zindigo enables entrepreneurial fashionistas to open boutiques on Facebook and earn 40% of every sale. Users can either open a shop dedicated to an individual designer or a virtual store that carries multiple brands. Zindigo has over 80 apparel and accessories designers on the platform, and it is a compelling option for brands looking for greater exposure and distribution, users that would love to indulge their style obsession in a lucrative way, and consumers that prefer a more curated, intimate shopping experience.

It is also a compelling model for investors drawn to the innovative approach to social commerce. It is not uncommon for online retailers to offer commission to users or affiliate site for referral links, and there are other startups like StyleOwner where people can establish their own digital boutiques. Zindigo, in addition to offering a far greater portion of the sales, also has tracking and analytics tools, as well as perks like free-shipping, to optimize sales efforts.

No time are the desires for unique articles of clothing and extra cash more pronounced than the holiday season. Kareen Mallet, a former executive at luxury department store Neiman Marcus, has joined Zindigo as Fashion Director. In a statement, she emphasized the role Zindigo could play in helping small designers get their work seen.

“I have spent my career watching talented designers struggle through the challenges of building a business and developing their distribution,” said Mallet.  “Brands are looking for new customers and consumers are looking for unique brands, but distribution barriers limit the connection.”

The designers also get a cut of the sales, as does Zindigo. Partcipating brands include Be&D, Cluny, Dallin Chase, Geren Ford, Isabella Fiore, Jay Godfrey, Kara Ross, M.C.L., Nicole Romano, NoNoo, Phoebe Couture, Raoul, Orlando Santana, and Ruffian.

Zindigo is based in New York.

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