Top 10 Online Korean Fashion Startups to Watch – Best of 2020 (1)
Startups and Future Trends
Seoul is becoming the fashion hub of Asia. Seoul hosts its popular Seoul Fashion week twice a year. Fashion has always been a part of Korean culture and it is now bigger than ever. Online Korean fashion startups are on the rise as Korean fashion continues to get global recognition. Korea’s startup fashion scene is trending among venture capitalists as well. Record amounts of funding are being raised for many Korean fashion startups thanks to online shopping and Instagram.
Online Korean fashion startups are on the rise due to online shopping and social media, which connects startups and companies with their customers and also help trends go viral. Many Korean online fashion startups have a successful social media strategy that allows them to compete with traditional players who lack a digital footprint. The advantage for startups in the fashion industry is their ability to act instantly on feedback for maximum customer satisfaction.Who will be the Next Musinsa?
The online fashion platform Musinsa has become a huge success with the young generation in Korea. It went from a trendy fashion startup to now a unicorn startup. There are exciting things happening in Korean fashion and technology is paving the way for innovation in the retail space. Many fashion startups are looking to become the next Musinsa.
StyleShare is our choice as the top Fashion Startup in Korea. The platform allows users to learn about the latest popular styles and trends. In addition, users can find out new fashion stories, stylings, and shopping reviews. Furthermore, their feed is updated in real-time and can share your fashion tastes with your friends. The platform can be accessed via mobile and desktop. They have millions of users from over 120 countries. In addition, StyleShare has already been covered by major fashion media like InStyle and VOGUE. It is currently the top mobile fashion app. Therefore, it is becoming Asia’s #1 source for not only fashion but beauty as well.
Think of StyleShare as a social network for fashionistas. It is a great platform to share and discover new fashion styles. The best part is that users can purchase clothes through the StyleShare store. Currently, StyleShare has over 5.5 million registered users. Their latest funding round brought in $21 million from Stonebridge Capital, KB Securities, and several other Korean investors, bringing their total to over $46 million.
“The top priority before launching the company was creating a fashion community and now that is what differentiates us from other fashion platforms,” said CEO of StyleShare, Ja-young, Yoon.
Womanstalk is a video commerce platform where influencers can introduce and promote products and gain a share of the sales revenue. Womanstalk benefits suppliers, influencers, and customers. Suppliers get marketing resources, influencers make money, and customers get products at the lowest possible price. Womanstalk started in the beauty industry but now has expanded into the fashion/lifestyle industry. They have over 2 million active monthly users and have over 250,000 products currently displayed on their site.
“More than half of online shoppers are already purchasing products using mobile devices and the most powerful and most produced contents on mobile are videos,” said CEO of Womanstalk, Kim Kang-il.
Womanstalk has over 100 active influencers that promote and sell products by uploading high-quality content on their social media. Some of these contents get over 1 million views. Womanstalk has gotten over $100 million in funding from venture capital firms like Korea Investment Partners, Intervest, IMM, and many more. In addition, the WOMANSTALK BApp (Blockchain Application) will be supported and pre-installed in KlaytnPhone by Ground X.
ZIGZAG is an online platform that collects fashion product information from different online shopping malls. In addition, the platform offers suggestions based on its algorithm for optimal recommendations. Their recommendations are based on the data collected from consumers' shopping patterns. They offer a weekly ranking list that is specialized for each consumer. They also offer the latest fashion trends as well as an option to put items on their wishlist. Furthermore, their app offers a wide range of fashion brands and already has over 20 million downloads; the number of monthly users now stands at 3 million. Their focus for 2020 will be to expand into other regions across Asia.
“We strive to provide a step-by-step service that would help the newly entering shopping websites to adapt to the mobile platform,” said CEO of Croquis Inc. the parent company of ZIGZAG, Jung-hoon Seo.
BRANDI collects a wide range of Korean fashion items from social media, shopping malls, and brands. They have a web and mobile app that showcases the latest trends in Korean fashion. BRANDI has collected over $250 million in sales to date since launching back in 2016. They have also raised over $20 million. BRANDI has done a great job of connecting IT technology to the fashion market. They have helped Dongdaemun come online by building a logistic supply chain to drive innovation. They offer services like logistics, delivery, and customer response for Dongdaemun fashion sellers in an integrated logistics center. In addition, they have implemented an AI demand forecasting algorithm and same-day shipping services. For 2020, they will focus on providing online and offline showrooms for wholesale and retail sellers.
29cm sells not only sells clothes but also lifestyle goods, home appliances, food, and much more. They started out with fashion to give consumers a unique experience with local Korean fashion brands. They get over 1 million visitors to their site every month. There are over 2,000 brands on their platform. Their site looks more like a fashion magazine than an eCommerce site. Their mobile app has also won many design awards. Korean fashion mobile app StyleShare is a major stakeholder of 29cm. In addition, they will work together to bring high-quality content and continue to discover new brands and products that will help expand their customer base.