Former IntelleGrow CEO invests in fashion startup GAIA Bespoke
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

GAIA Bespoke, an omnichannel platform for made-to-measure western womenswear, has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from angel investor Sanjib Jha, former chief executive of venture debt provider IntelleGrow.

In a statement, Mumbai-based GAIA Bespoke said it will strengthen and expand its operations to other cities.

The startup will also look to add new features to its online store while diversifying its product portfolio.

Founded by Gayatri Thampi in 2016, GAIA Bespoke also has offline stores that offer a range of tailor-made garments, and varieties of fabric, designs and stitched clothing.

The brand also arranges home visits by its stylists.

“Women’s Indian/ethnic wear has always been bespoke ranging from famous couturiers to neighborhood tailors,” said founder Thampi. “It’s about time we recognised the need for affordable tailor-made women’s western wear."

GAIA Bespoke had in August last year raised seed funding through Fundtonic, a network of angel investors, following which the brand launched its first store in Mumbai.

As part of the latest transaction, angel investor Jha will come on board as a strategic advisor. He is currently the lead adviser for Small Industries Development Bank of India.

Deals in the space

The online fashion space is dominated by Myntra and its parent Flipkart along with US e-commerce giant Amazon.

This has made it more challenging for standalone online fashion ventures to operate. Consequently, new-age fashion brands are adopting an omnichannel approach, which involves a mix of both offline and online services. 

Earlier this month, TechCircle reported that Delhi-based Ad Victoriam Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which operates fashion e-tailing platform for women StalkBuyLove, was raising around Rs 20.42 crore ($2.96 million) in a fresh round of funding from a clutch of new and existing investors.

The likes of StalkbuyLove operate in a more niche space, catering to private labels solely focused on women. A few other funded players in this space include India Quotient-backed Fab Alley and Kanwaljit Singh-backed Fable Street which also focus on clothes for women.

While the broader online fashion space has not exactly been teeming with investor activity in recent times, there have been some deals over the past few months.

Last month, Kishore Biyani-led Future Group announced that it will acquire more than a fourth of fashion e-commerce firm Koovs Plc, as the brick-and-mortar retail conglomerate steps up its investments in online ventures.

In June, fashion e-tailer eShakti, which focuses on the womenswear segment, raised Rs 75 crore ($10.1 million) in fresh funding from private equity firm Paragon Partners.

In March, Mumbai-based online fashion marketplace Fynd, run by Shopsense Technologies Pvt. Ltd, closed its Series C round of funding led by tech giant Google.

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