DREAM ON: Farfetch’s technology accelerator Dream Assembly, launched in April this year, has unveiled its first cohort of start-ups consisting of 11 selected businesses. The Dream Assembly program will provide mentorship, networking opportunities and early-stage funding.
The 11 start-ups participating in the inaugural program includes The Restory from the U.K., Upteam from Hong Kong, Reckon.ai from Portugal, Villageluxe from the U.S. and Fashpa from Nigeria.
According to Farfetch, the 11 start-ups were chosen for their work on bridging new technologies, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, with commerce — two key pillars of the fashion e-commerce platform.
“We were delighted by the response from so many incredible companies. The companies we have selected for the first Dream Assembly cohort all have great potential to present innovative solutions and are capable of shaping the future of commerce,” said Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer of Farfetch.
From Sept. 7, these companies will take part in a 12-week program in Lisbon from which they will be privy to one-on-one sessions with Farfetch’s senior leaders. Workshops will cover a range of themes including technology, e-commerce and fashion.
The start-ups will also take part in a one-week boot camp in San Francisco run by seed accelerator 500 Startups and have a chance to pitch to a panel of external investors during a one-day trip to London.
“We were a small start-up,” said José Neves, founder and chief executive officer of Farfetch. “Back then, I needed exposure to boutiques, brands and customers to try my service, and I needed technology support and mentoring.
“We believe that the whole luxury fashion industry, including Farfetch, can benefit from helping to support the next generation of technology companies dedicated to shaping the future of e-commerce,” he added.
The Dream Assembly is one of many new projects the e-commerce platform is embarking on. On Aug. 20, the company filed for an initial public offering of class A shares which analysts estimate could value it up to $5 billion.
Prior to the IPO, Farfetch introduced a 90-minute delivery service in China, partnered with Burberry and Chanel to strengthen their digital presence, and launched a hard luxury hub.