GETTING PERSONAL: Fashion software company Unmade has received $4 million in a new round of funding, with Felix Capital as the lead investor. The company, which was founded in 2014, has also shifted from a B2C model to a B2B model and forged partnerships with Farfetch, Opening Ceremony and Selfridges.
Unmade’s software allows consumers to customize products before purchasing. They can view different color options and rearrange prints and patterns to create their own unique garment within the parameters of the initial designs.
With this recent investment, the company said it plans to solidify its current partnerships and is looking to expand its presence in the American market. “We’re now working with three of America’s top 10 fashion brands that generate billions in annual revenue. We strive to be an integral part of building a more sustainable and tech-enabled fashion ecosystem,” said Hal Watts, cofounder and chief executive officer of Unmade.
In 2015, the company raised $2.7 million. Including this current round of funding, Unmade has raised a total of $6.7 million to date. Investors include banker Sian Westerman, who serves as president of the business and investment pillars at the British Fashion Council, and José Neves, founder and owner of Farfetch.
The company provides factories with patented software technology, which Watts said is compatible with most machinery. The software allows for on-demand — and environmentally friendly — manufacturing. “There is zero waste,” Watts said. “We only make the product if we sell it, so there’s no stock.”
As pressure increases on the industry to become more sustainable, brands are looking for more efficiency in the supply chain. “Unmade is very much a part of the sustainability element, but on top of that, it’s attractive to brands because of the financial element,” said Frederic Court, founder and managing partner of Felix Capital and lead investor in this latest funding round.
“Unmade enables the brand to sell a product that they have not manufactured yet, and collect cash ahead of production and make money without investing in production,” Court said. By strengthening the connection between the factory, brand and the consumer and offering a more thoughtful product to the customer, margins tend to be higher.
“It’s a compelling proposition to brands and it also increases their brand loyalty,” Court said.
Although personalization has been significantly overhyped and overmarketed in the last few years, Watts said he feels Unmade’s technology will unlock the true potential of individual customization. “When we work with a brand we figure out what customization should mean for them and their customer instead of offering the same basic pick of colors.”
By logging customer’s product choices, the technology should enable brands to be more in tune with their customers and offer a new level of customer service. “We record every sale and who we sell it to, so brands are able to offer customers new items based on these records and ultimately, create a much deeper conversation between designer and customer,” Watts said.