Just how hot is the fashion-tech space? Searing enough that Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Nina Garcia have joined tech investors on a $1 million Series A round to fund Fashism.com, one of two start-ups that crowdsource wardrobe advice.
Even during the dot-com boom, Hollywood’s brightest stars were more likely to turn up on Paul Allen’s yacht than fund a tech company. Kutcher will sit on the board.
Other investors include SV Angel, the fund of well-known Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway, and High Line Venture Partners. Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and designer Steven Alan advise the company.
The exact amount was not disclosed, but it was “close” to $1 million, a significant sum for an early-stage company, especially one with a fashion focus.
Fashism is a social game that’s half mobile app, half Web site. Users post photos of themselves and vote on one another’s outfits, hairstyles and items they are considering purchasing.
About one year old, the service is still small and does not take in revenue yet. Fashism has 40,000 registered users, and the app has been downloaded 50,000 times (users do not need to register to use the service). The Web site gets about 80,000 unique visitors a month, according to the company, but at least half the usage comes from the app, which Fashism is not yet tracking.
The plan is to eventually charge for partnerships and sponsorships. The company has already worked with Elie Tahari, Redken, ModCloth and Fred Flare.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” said co-founder and chief executive officer Brooke Moreland, who was previously an editor for reality TV shows. Co-founder and chief marketing officer Ashley Granata handled marketing partnerships at Bloomingdales.com and Style.com, where she launched the site’s iPhone app.
Some investors introduced Kutcher to the company, and they just “clicked,” said Moreland. “He really gets what we’re trying to do.”
The round, which closed last week, will fund development. A second version of the iPhone app is slated to appear in the next few months, with an Android app to follow. The forthcoming iPhone app will add connections to friends and localization so, for example, a store could potentially send special offers to nearby members.
Kutcher has invested in other tech companies through his fund A Grade Investments. Competitor Go Try It On raised an undisclosed amount of funding earlier this month from seed and angel investors.