East Ventures Leads Initial Funding for Casual Fashion Startups
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup Casual has announced that it has secured seed funding led by East Ventures. The product they developed was everyday wear, with an initial focus on men’s trousers.
The fresh funds will be used to strengthen the team, technology, and factory capabilities, as well as expand the company’s operational expansion to Solo, Central Java.
To make it easier for consumers to access their products, Casual currently has its own website. In addition to the sales platform, it also provides several features.
The first is called “Build Your Own Product”, allowing customers to choose the type of cut and size that is tailored to their preferences.
There is also a “Virtual Fitting” service, providing direct consultation services with the Casual team via video calls regarding sizes, personalized fittings, and product recommendations.
With a simpler ordering process and in-house garment production, products can be delivered to customers in less than 5 days.
The personalization and technology approach that is presented is claimed to make Casual the first fashion-tech and instant commerce in Indonesia.
“We realize that the trend of e-commerce has mushroomed very quickly and helps customers shop comfortably from home, so they demand manufacturers or sellers who can provide daily necessities, especially pants, more quickly and reliably,” said Founder & CEO Great Natural Casual.
However, today’s local brands still ignore technology which can actually be a vital aspect in fashion production. This means that currently customers still do not have a reliable platform to get personalized fashion products instantly.
It was also conveyed, casual has experienced a 3x growth when the first pandemic entered Indonesia in 2020 compared to 2019 (YoY). Until now, they have served around 80 thousand users and have produced more than 3 thousand products per month.
D2C Trends Among Brand Owners
According to data compiled in the “Driving Growth with D2C” report by Ogilvy, Commercetolls, and Verticurl, current brand owners must have a D2C digital strategy to win the market.
The main goal is to build a more personal relationship with customers, thereby creating a more effective and engaging brand experience as a value proposition. D2C provides invaluable ownership of customer data.
One case study that is widely told is the success of Perfect Diary, a cosmetic brand from China. Founded in 2016, the startup achieved impressive growth throughout its 2 years of business.
Even in 2019, they became one of the three brands with the most sales. Until finally in 2020 decided to IPO with a valuation of $ 7 billion. Their main strategy is none other than D2C.
There are three main pillars that brand owners ideally have in their D2C strategy. First, it allows them to find product differentiation, this unique value is considered to invite more customers.
Second, the ability to empower customer data to better understand their needs and characteristics. And third, encourage brand leadership with more agility overall, including on the operational side.
Seeing the same opportunities, some local players try their luck in the sector. East Ventures itself has also invested in another D2C startup in the skincare field called Base and a plant-based beverage called Mohjo.
There is also Hypefast that is here to help brand owners sharpen their D2C strategies — including by providing capital, network, access, and operational support. On the investor side, apart from East Ventures, several other local venture capitalists have also started to enter there.
Starting from Alpha JWC Ventures, AC Ventures, to BRI Ventures through Sembrani. Recently, Kinesys has collaborated with The-Wolfpack specifically to strengthen the D2C ecosystem in its portfolio.
For the fashion business itself, until now it still dominates sales in online shopping globally. Innovation is needed to maintain this growth, along with changing trends that occur among consumers.