Chinese microfinance firm leads follow-on round in fashion startup CoutLoot

Mumbai-based MJVS Fashion Services Pvt. Ltd, operator of online fashion resale marketplace CoutLoot, has raised an additional $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore) as a part of its ongoing pre-Series A funding round, a company statement said.

The latest round is led by Jadevalue Fintech, the investment arm of Chinese microfinance company CashBUS. Existing investors Artha India Ventures and funding and incubation platform Venture Catalysts also participated in the round, the statement added.

In its first pre-Series A funding round, the company had raised an undisclosed amount from angel investor Anuj Puri; VC firms Redcliffe Capital and Artha India Ventures; Siddharth Kothari, promoter and director at Om Kothari Group; and Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, president at Venture Catalysts.

Venture Catalysts had first invested in CoutLoot in June 2016.

CoutLoot is a marketplace for both men and women to buy and sell new and pre-owned branded and designer fashion wear. It has tied up with celebrities to resell items from their personal closet through its ‘Celebrity Closet’ feature. The startup also sells its products offline through its ‘pop up shops’.

CoutLoot was founded in November 2016 by Mahima Kaul, Sahil Khimavat, Vinit Jain and Jasmeet Thind.

“We are aiming for aggressive and comprehensive expansion and with this funding boost, we'll aim to expand our footprint not only in terms of geography but by diversifying our operations into other categories within the C2C model as well,” Kaul said.

Currently, the company has operations across 14 cities.

In January 2017, CoutLoot had acquired Bengaluru-based Stororo Services Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount. Stororo runs a fashion and apparel portal for sellers called Once Again Store. In December 2016, it was selected by US-based social media behemoth Facebook Inc. for its FbStart programme.

“We believe that a technology driven re-commerce marketplace in India for the mass market creates value for all parties involved, including sellers, buyers and the society at large. By having a customer-centric approach and building strong proprietary technology, CoutLoot creates a seamless and engaging customer experience, removing many of the barriers often encountered on the more traditional platforms,” Johan Uddman, general manager, Jadevalue Fintech, said.

Besides CoutLoot, the pre-owned fashion category in India is dominated by players such as Zapyle, StylFlip and Etashee. These portals seek to tap into the growing aspirations of the Indian middle class to own premium luxury brands.

In March 2017, Bangalore-based luxury fashion platform Zapyle had raised an undisclosed amount in a bridge round of funding from its existing investors.

In March 2016, StylFlip, a mobile-only platform for used fashion goods for women, had raised an undisclosed amount in funding from real estate developers Raj Gala Shah and Zaheer Memon.

Peer-to-peer fashion portal Elanic acquired an online marketplace for pre-owned toys and apparel for children for an undisclosed amount in July last year.

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