Online contemporary marketplace Garmentory just got another funding injection to boost growth plans.
The company, which has created a space for itself as a seller of women’s apparel and carefully crafted home goods and accessories, said Monday it closed on a $2 million raise it’s calling a pre-A round, which follows a $1.3 million seed about a year ago. MHS Capital of San Francisco led the raise and gets a seat on the board with the close.
“We’ve really built out the space,” said Adele Tetangco, cofounder and vice president of merchandise and brand at Garmentory. “It’s not just about the platform, but the community we’ve built [and] really building a place where small businesses in fashion can thrive and to raise this money and be able to have so much growth is testament that [the concept is] working.”
Garmentory carries a mix of more than 350 vendors, split between boutiques and designers with more than 2,000 brands available via its online shop. Designers carried include Shaina Mote, Micaela Greg, Rachel Comey, Objects Without Meaning and Ulla Johnson. That’s in addition to a roster of boutiques such as Los Angeles’ Althouse and Intentionally Blank or New York’s Mansi Shah and Seek Collective. It sits in a unique corner of the digital retail world and is akin to a Farfetch for contemporary brands.
Consumers and even some buyers who shop the site appear to be responding.
The company doesn’t disclose financial details but said this year it expects to see around 500 percent annual growth and projects the same for 2017. The company, when asked about profitability, said margins are positive and have been increasing monthly.
“A lot of people use the site as a place for discovery,” Tetangco said.
The company hopes the same successes it’s seen since its 2014 launch will work with men’s, which it intends to roll out Jan. 23.
“We built this space for women and there’s no space like this for men,” Tetangco said, adding about 20 percent of Garmentory’s traffic currently is from males even though only 11 percent of products are geared to that segment. “It was a no brainer to move in this direction.”
Garmentory aims to launch with 25 boutiques and designers at launch and has already confirmed Alex Crane, Neighbour, Assembly, Livestock, Corridor NYC, Gentlemen’s Sanctum, Zed, Working Title, Rooney, Four Horsemen and Gerhard Supply.
“I really wanted to bring the male equivalent to the female we already have on the site,” Tetangco said of the buying strategy.
The new capital will also be used to pad Garmentory’s 11-member team, including the addition of a men’s wear director, along with individuals in customer service, marketing and development.
As for retail, a decision many digital brands are currently weighing, Tetangco said it’s not top of mind other than bridging the gap between online and off by driving traffic to Garmentory’s boutique partners.
“We’re thinking the next-generation retail in this space is all experiential and we think that the next thing is marketplace,” she said. “So when we think about why people shop in boutiques for me, personally, I shop in boutiques because I love the point of view that the store owner has and how she curates her store and a lot of that is personal.”
Bottling those unique products and putting them in a single place is what allows the company to avoid heavy promotions. About 90 percent of the company’s sales are full price during the traditional sale season, Tetangco said.
“The customer that’s coming to Garmentory, they’re looking for something different, which is why they’re willing to spend full price.”