Bomoda, a DailyCandy-style newsletter targeting Chinese women, has raised $1.4 million from a prestigious list of angel investors.Brian Buchwald, the New York-based startup’s CEO, told us he’s trying to establish Bomoda as a trusted brand for the increasing numbers of wealthy Chinese women who have disposable income and want real luxury goods, not the knockoffs which flood their home market.
Buchwald shared a bunch of eye-popping statistics about Chinese luxury-good consumption. The country will soon overtake Japan as the largest market for luxury goods worldwide.
The one that really stuck with us: According to the Pao Consultancy, Chinese women who buy luxury goods spend an average of 11% of their annual disposable income on handbags.
Because of high import duties on luxury goods in China, they’re also disposed to take shopping trips to New York, Paris, and other Western cities. So Bomoda’s going to dish out travel and luxury-lifestyle advice, too. Bomoda will offer fashion advice and feature hand-selected deals.
“What they’re going through from the consumption perspective is like what we went through in the Industrial Revolution,” Buchwald told Business Insider.
They may know Louis Vuitton and Prada, but they don’t know how to do the kind of high-low mixing and pairing that’s au courant in Milan and New York.
The move into international e-commerce might seem unusual for Buchwald, who’s one of the few Bomoda staffers who doesn’t speak Mandarin. What he does have is an impeccable media resume: Most famously, he spearheaded the creation of Hulu for NBCUniversal.
(Full disclosure: I previously worked for Buchwald when he ran NBC’s Local Interactive Media division. And I have a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. Both of those may colour my enthusiasm for Bomoda’s concept.)
But it makes sense that the same kind of trendspotting that had him working on online video in 2006 has led him to this burgeoning, untapped market.
“There’s no DailyCandy for China, no Thrillist,” Buchwald pointed out.
Chief among Bomoda’s backers is former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel. Other investors include iNovia Capital, a Canadian venture firm; Ed Goodman of Milestone Venture Partners, whose family previously owned Bergdorf Goodman; and Peter Georgescu, the chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam.
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