SYDNEY — Hong Kong-domiciled fashion technology company, Ordre Group, has raised $9 million in a Series B funding round, led by Brisbane, Australia-based Morgans Financial Ltd.
Several VC institutional investors also participated in the funding round — the company’s third since its 2015 launch — including Sydney-based Alium Capital Management and London Stock Exchange-listed NFT Investments plc.
Bringing Ordre’s total funding raised to $30 million, the new funds will be used to relaunch the company’s original multibrand virtual showroom platform Ordre.com and expand Ordre Virtual, the new custom/white label virtual showrooms platform that launched last month with Lanvin and The Row, incorporating virtual tours of physical showrooms, interactive video, livestreaming and real-time virtual appointments, in addition to 360-degree view collections using Ordre’s Orb360 imaging technologies.
Orb360 — which was used exclusively to launch one of the world’s largest online e-commerce companies’ foray into luxury fashion in the US in late 2020 — is also to be scaled up, with the expansion of mobile services in China, Japan, South Korea and Los Angeles in addition to the company’s established Paris, London, Milan, New York and Sydney markets.
Ordre.com has an international retailer network of more than 8,000 buyers in 93 markets, viewing collection showrooms from 250-plus brands. Beyond Lanvin and The Row, other lead clients for the Ordre Virtual and Orb360 services include Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Chloé, Loewe, Azzedine Alaïa, Thom Browne, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang and Tory Burch.
The Ordre Group pipeline also includes a new product verification platform and consumer app called Authentique, that combines blockchain, visual recognition and NFT technologies and is designed to assist the luxury fashion industry combat counterfeit products, whilst establishing digital ownership. The Authentique marketplace is expected to launch in 2022.
According to Ordre’s Australian founder and chief executive officer Simon Lock, the company has experienced 325 percent growth over the past year, with its virtual showrooms on Ordre.com and Ordre Virtual approaching $1 billion in gross merchandise volume.
“The company has identified a range of opportunities as a result of the acceleration of our technology platforms during the pandemic as the fashion industry further digitizes both b-to-b and b-to-c operations,” Lock said.
He added, “Authentique is perhaps our most exciting venture to date: visual recognition technology, which creates digital fingerprints of products. You can scan a product with your phone and instantly verify if it’s the real thing and once you own it, you can transfer digital ownership of that product through an NFT to your [crypto] wallet. We think we have a very unique and fit for purpose product.”
Said Rob Douglas, executive director at Morgans, “Ordre’s technology platforms represented significant growth opportunities for our investment partners. It is clear that globally the fashion industry continues to embrace new innovative tech platforms and Ordre’s reputation and track record provides a foundation for rapid growth. We are also really excited about the company’s move in the fashion NFT space.”
Reflective of the fashion industry’s supercharged digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19, Ordre’s funding news follows recent announcements by more established American b-to-b rivals NuOrder and Joor, which have raised $45 million and $46 million, respectively, since March. Last month, NuOrder, together with U.S.-based global e-commerce platform Ecwid, was acquired by Canadian point-of-sale and e-commerce software provider Lightspeed in a combined deal worth close to $1 billion.
The company has also been invited to participate in the internal LVMH Retail Lab, which will see Ordre present its technologies to more than 500 executives at LVMH’s 75 brands over the next six months.