Beringea joins Balderton to back London fashion tech business Thread
June 2nd 2016
Online personal styling service for men announces additional funding
(London, UK) British fashion tech business Thread, has today announced a £4 million funding round which sees venture and growth capital investor Beringea join existing investors Balderton Capital and a number of angel investors. This follows the previous series A round led by Balderton with a number of angel investors which was announced in August 2015.
Founded in 2012, Thread was launched with $25,000 from renowned America accelerator programme Y Combinator. Founders and serial entrepreneurs Kieran O’Neill, Ben Phillips and Ben Kucsan noted the emerging trend of men wanting to dress well, but finding it difficult or frustrating to do so. Thread is a free online personal styling service for men, which uses a unique combination of human stylists and powerful algorithms to make it easy for men to dress well. On signing up, users fill in questionnaires and upload photos of themselves, which help the stylist and algorithm sort through millions of items to create the best outfits for that particular individual.
This latest funding will help Thread to continue to scale rapidly within the UK market, growing its existing user base of 325,000 men and expanding its current team of 30 based in East London.
Beringea joins Balderton and a list of high net worth investors from across the junction of design, technology and fashion, including Andrew Jennings (former president of Saks 5th Avenue), Edgar Bronfman Jr. (former owner of Warner Music), Guy Hipwell (former head of online at Harrods and Liberty) and Shakil Kahn (founding investor in Spotify). Karen McCormick and Rob Dagger led the deal for Beringea.
Kieran O’Neill, co-founder and CEO of Thread said: “It’s been a really exciting journey discovering how to fuse human stylists with powerful algorithms to help guys dress well without having to go shopping. The business has been growing quickly, and we’re excited to have the support from Beringea, Balderton and others to allow us to further that. I started this business because I had this problem myself, and it’s exciting to see thousands of other men get the same value from Thread that I do.”
Karen McCormick of Beringea commented “We have been really impressed with the level of consumer engagement and commercial traction Thread has established in a short period of time, demonstrating strong demand amongst men for their stylist curated shopping experience. Kieran is a well-known serial entrepreneur, and he has attracted the highest calibre team to Thread. We are very excited about being part of the journey, and believe the business will quickly become a substantial player in online menswear.”
Daniel Waterhouse, Partner of Balderton Capital commented: “Since our original investment in Thread, Kieran and his colleagues have been relentless at further enhancing their personalised fashion buying experience for men. The marriage of smart machine learning technology with human stylists has delivered on the early promise and the performance of Thread continues to outstrip industry norms. We are delighted to provide Thread with a further investment, and to welcome Beringea as a new investor in this exciting company.”