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Joor has raised $15 million to become the “it girl” of online fashion wholesale.
The platform enables brands and retailers to connect and transact online. Founder Mona Bijoor spent her career working in fashion with brands like Chanel and in the buying department of global retailers. She said the wholesale process was mostly conducted offline using handwritten orders, which is not only inefficient and frustrating but also limited the scope of where brands could sell to and retailers could buy from.
“Historically, the fashion industry has been reluctant to adopt the Internet, but that is changing,” Bijoor said in an interview. “This is a highly fragmented market where retailers can only source products from places they actually go, and there is limited data available about the inventory. But people in fashion are using technology to buy clothes in the personal lives and are now seeing how it can benefit their business life. Our job is to make retailers and brands better, smarter, and faster.”
Joor’s goal is to become the “de facto operating platform” for brands and retailers. Its marketplace currently includes 600 brands and 40,000 retailers, including some of the biggest names in high-end fashion. Diane von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone, Thakoon, Alexander McQueen, and Chloe are on Joor as well as luxury retailers Barneys, Bloomingdales, Net-a-Porter, and hundreds of swanky boutiques. Brands create profile pages with marketing materials, and retailers put up pages with information about clients and inventory. Search capabilities are available on both sides, using filters like price, trend, region, and product.
Once they are matched, Joor offers software tools to manage the buying process. Brands can take orders on-the-go using the iPad app and have access to real-time analytics about orders, notes, fulfillment, shipping, and billing as well as lead generation tools. Retailers can look at the best-selling items and trends, find new brands, and build and place orders on the platform.
Joor is on track to do more than $350 million in transactions in 2013, which is more than three times the amount of 2012. The company recently opened up an office in Milan and is opening one in Sydney. Canaan Partners led this second round of funding, with participation from Conde Nast parent company Advance Publications, and existing investors Battery Ventures, Forerunner Partners, and Lerer Ventures. It will be used to fuel international expansion.
“We are working hard on the product to get the best brands and retailers on the platform,” Bijoor said. “A lot of our growth is coming internationally and we want to make sure we have the infrastructure to support adoption. We are definitely looking toward Asia, to Korea and Japan, and down the road toward India, China, and Brazil. I also want to explore men’s [wear], footwear, accessories, technology as it applies to luxury, home, kids — to any consumer product at wholesale.”
Joor isn’t the only company working toward such a goal. Competitor Balluun raised $8.7 million earlier this week, and L.A. startup NuOrder is backed by GRP, Greycroft, Cowboy Ventures, mega-agency CAA, and celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. The global fashion industry generates over $1.5 trillion a year and is growing. Most of the discussion surrounding fashion tech focuses on consumers, but consumers are at one end of a long and complicated supply chain that these startups are trying to simplify. In a world with direct-to-consumer sales and high demand for quick turn around, tools like these are important for fashion businesses to run efficiently, while also extending their reach.
Joor is based in New York City. This brings its total capital raised to $20.5 million.