Zilingo setting aside $100 million for US expansion and innovation
The money will be used to modernise the process for sourcing clothing and accessories by digitising the procedure, which will help remove middlemen companies from the equation and subsequently increase profit margins. The company is also looking to expand its workforce using the investment, and will hire staff into its product and sales departments. The digitalisation process will also utilise AI to help predict upcoming fashion trends, which will help companies decrease the level of overproduction, says the company.
“The fashion industry is exploitative, wasteful, and frankly, completely broken,” says Ankiti Bose, co-founder and CEO of Zilingo. “We’re bringing technology to a supply chain that hasn’t changed since the industrial revolution.”
Although the US expansion began earlier this summer, the Singapore-based startup was founded in 2015 as an online B2C marketplace which facilitates connecting sellers directly with end consumers in the Southeast Asia region. Over the course of the company’s rather quick growth, its functions now also include providing software, data, sourcing and financing services to factories and fashion retailers with operations currently spanning 17 countries.
The recent accelerated expansion plan is not limited to the US, however, with the Zilingo saying that they have their targets set on the European, Middle Eastern, and Australian markets as well.
Earlier this year, Zilingo closed a series D financing round reaching a US$226 million target. The group of investors included Burda Principal Investments, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, and Singapore government-linked funds EDBI and Temasek. After the funding round was closed, Zilingo had said that the investments will be aimed at the company’s geographical expansion and for “long-term value building across the supply chain.”
This series D round had raised the company’s estimated valuation to roughly $970 million; just $30 million shy of a unicorn, according to The Business Times.