Fashion startup Zilingo raises $226 million from Singapore's Temasek, others

Ankiti Bose | Ore Huiying  Bloomberg

"We are pretty close to profitability and have a clear path to it", Ankiti Bose, the company's co-founder and CEO, told Reuters. The four-year-old startup was valued at about $970 million in its latest round, according to sources.

Zilingo, founded by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor, started as a fashion and lifestyle marketplace in 2015 to help small merchants build scale. He heads the branch in Bengaluru which powers the operations while Ankiti heads the Singapore branch.

Zilingo, an online fashion and lifestyle marketplace, has secured $226 million in its Series D funding round, which witnessed investment from Sequoia Capital, Temasek, Burda Principal Investments, Sofina, Singapore investment fund EDBI, along with existing investors.

The startup has racked up a total $306 million in funding.

This news is huge considering starting out for women isn't easy.

The company had last raised funds in April last years. Among other major startup ecosystems, the USA ranked in the top five, while China is in the top 30. The number of women entrepreneurs stood at 14% in 2018, according to a Nasscom survey, up from 10% and 11% in the previous two years, respectively. She says having empathy and being sensitive when dealing with people across cultures-from techies in Bengaluru to fashion gurus in Singapore to conservative Muslim merchants in Indonesia-has helped her.

According to Bloomberg, the idea was hatched in 2014 when Bose was an analyst at Sequoia India.

"We are amazed by the team's ability to envision and execute against such an ambitious roadmap and are excited to continue to support them on their journey", said Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore managing director Shailendra Singh. Bose was then 23-year-old and Dhruv Kapoor was 24-year-old, software engineer at gaming studio Kiwi Inc., when they randomly had a realisation that they possess complementary skills and certain ambitions to develop their individual startup.

"Zilingo's comprehensive platform allows consumers to have greater access to a diversity of fashion merchants, fostering cross-border partnerships between micro merchants and manufacturers, and providing them with value-added services including working capital financing". However, the B2B model is lot different from what other platforms have to offer.

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