London’s growing startup scene is well-known for having lots of finance startups thanks to its close links to the banking world, but that’s not the only kind of startup that thrives here.
The capital also hosts plenty of startups that are catering to the fashion crowd, such as services that offer online personal stylists or allow you to virtually try on clothes.
We ranked some of London’s fashion startups, taking into account total amount raised, headcount, and originality.
What it is: Wool and the Gang is an online store for wool and knitting supplies that doubles as a network for people who like to knit. The company can use its network to produce goods to sell either on the website or directly to the fashion industry.
Wool and the Gang says that around 70% of its users are between the ages of 18 and 35. It's that young, engaged audience that has made the site so popular, and also helped it raise £420,000 in a crowdfunding campaign in September.
Total amount raised: $US2.8 million (£1.8 million)
What it is: Stylect calls itself the 'Tinder for shoes.' It was launched in 2013 and lets users find what shoes they like by swiping through different pairs using a Tinder-like interface. The company says that its app has been downloaded over 1 million times, and that it sees 60 million swipes per month for the shoes from 10,000 brands that are on the platform.
CEO Giacomo Summa previously worked as director of business development for online fashion retailer Dafiti. He moved to London and started his business helping women find the perfect pair of shoes.
Total amount raised: $US688,000 (£443,000)
What it is: Nuji is an e-commerce site that sells clothing and lifestyle goods for men and women. It was started in 2011 by cofounders Vincent Thome, Dean Fankhauser, and Anton Meryl Nithianandan.
The company raised $US2 million (£1.28 million) in seed funding in 2014 from investors including TAG, Seedcamp, Samos, and an unnamed retail investor. Later that year it launched a new shopping app, which for fun, features an animated woman that makes faces at you.
Total amount raised: $US2 million (£1.28 million)
What it is: Girl Meets Dress is an online fashion rental site that lets its customers rent items of clothing for as long as they need. The idea for the company arose when cofounder Anna Bance was working as a PR manager for Hermès. She realised that luxury items of fashion were constantly being borrowed for fashion shoots, so decided to start a business around it.
Bance told The Guardian in 2014 that 98% of customers who use the site try clothing brands that they have never seen before. That's an important figure that will appeal to distributors considering whether to bring their clothes to the platform. Girl Meets Dress raised an undisclosed figure from the Samwer brothers in 2013 when the site received investment from the Global Founders Capital fund.
Total amount raised: Unknown
What it is: Kovert Designs is the creator of the Altruis stone, a small device that looks like a gemstone but buzzes when someone calls, texts, or sends you an email. The stone, which can be worn as a ring, necklace, or bracelet, can be customised to screen your messages so that only the most important ones go through. The idea is to stop you from obessivley checking your cell phone.
Total amount raised: Unknown
What it is: The Chapar is a fashion app for men created by father and son team Joe and Sam Middleton. It's aimed at men over the age of 27 and sends regular packages of clothes based on a man's tastes. Customers then try on the clothes and return anything they don't like.
Chapar stylists work with customers through phone calls and online chats to find out what their tastes are and send more relevant items of clothing. Started in 2013, the business brought in a £500,000 round of seed funding from investors including BBH founder Sir John Hegarty and FusePump cofounder Rob Durkin.
Total amount raised: £500,000
What it is: Fits.me takes details of a customer's body shape and creates a 3D model to virtually try on clothes. The service helps people figure out how clothes will fit their body shape without having to actually try them on in the real world.
Fits.me was acquired by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten in July. Neither company released the terms of the deal, but Fits.me will continue to operate as a standalone company.
Total amount raised: $US14.3 million (£9.2 million)
What it is: SecretSales is an online fashion site that holds sales for designer clothes. Sales last between two and four days, and products have discounts of up to 70% off the normal retail price. Cofounders Nish and Sach Kukadia are the sons of one of the founders of iconic denim company Pepe Jeans.
SecretSales was started in 2007 and has since grown to over 100 staff.
CEO Nish Kukadia says that the site uses behavioural data to create 70,000 different versions of the emails it sends, making it more effective at marketing to customers.
Total amount raised: $US17.5 million (£11.2 million)
What it is: Chic By Choice lets users hire evening dresses and ball gowns for special events. The model is similar to US-based company Rent the Runway, which lets people rent designer wear for much less than it would be to buy them.
Cofounders Lara Vidreiro and Filipa Neto were both scheduled to attend an event, but didn't want to spend money on dresses that they would probably only wear once. That's where the idea of Chic By Choice came from. The cofounders were just 21 at the time and left Portugal soon after to move the business to London.
Chic By Choice told The Guardian in February that it has 230,000 registered members and over 50 different brands on the site.
Total amount raised: €500,000 (£361,000)
What it is: ASAP54 is a site that uses image-recognition technology to help people discover fashion online. Shoppers can use the site to scan clothes they're interested in by snapping a photo, and it automatically finds it online, or suggests similar items.
But it's not all algorithms: The site also employs personal stylists and includes a social network about fashion. ASAP54 announced in 2014 that it had raised $US3 million (£1.9 million) in funding.
Total amount raised: $US3.8 million (£2.4 million)
What it is: EDITED works with brands such as Gap, ASOS, and Target to help them understand the data of fashion using real-time analytics. For example, you can track promotions from brands and retailers around the world or monitor how consumers are reacting to trends on social media.
The startup recently changed its name, moving from 'EDITD' to 'EDITED.'
Total amount raised: $US6 million (£3.8 million)
What it is: Thread helps users make sense of the world of fashion by matching them up with their own personal stylist through its platform. The stylist learns about users and suggests clothes that they think would suit them. Users can then purchase the items through the site. Thread is free to use, but the company takes a cut of any purchases that you make.
CEO Kieran O'Neill started his first online business in 2003 when he founded video streaming website HolyLemon.com while studying for his GCSE. He eventually sold the site for $US1.25 million (£814,000).
Total amount raised: $US8 million (£5.1 million)
What it is: Lyst is an online fashion marketplace that lets users follow their favourite stores. Chris Morton started the company in 2010 after working as an investor at Balderton Capital and Benchmark Capital. The business is reported to have grown by over 400% in 2012, and again in 2013, generating over $US60 million (£38.6 million) in sales.
In January 2014, Lyst announced that it had raised $US14 million (£9 million) in funding from Balderton Capital and Accel Partners, among other investors.
Total amount raised: $US60 million (£38 million)
What it is: Farfetch is an online fashion retailer that takes products from independent shops and makes them available online.
The site has raised $US194 million (£125 million) in funding from investors such as Yuri Milner, and Condé Nast International. Its valuation topped $US1 billion (£644 million) in March after its latest round of funding.
Total amount raised: $US194.5 million (£125 million)
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