Polish online fashion marketplace Showroom has revealed that fashion giant Burda International, which manages Hubert Burda Media and titles like Elle, has taken a 25 percent stake in the startup after making an undisclosed investment.
There’s no official word on how the strategic investment from Burda, which includes well-known international brands Elle, InStyle and Prestige within its 299 magazine-strong stable, will be used. However, the news does come at a time when Showroom — founded earlier this year — is beginning to expand its presence into new European markets beyond its native Poland, so it is logical to presume that Burda will help with this.
Showroom is, as the name suggests, an online platform for independent fashion designers to showcase and sell their work. Designers and brands upload photos and post descriptions of the items to the site themselves, and customers buy direct from them too. Currently the site includes items from more than 500 Polish independent designers, and more than 100 fashion brands.
The Polish startup is placing great emphasis on Facebook and it offers discounts to customers which help spread word of the site by ‘liking’ items on its page on the social network. Indeed, as Goal Europe reported, integrating with Facebook Open Graph saw Showroom double its turnover.
Commenting on its investment, Burda International CEO Fabrizio D’Angelo said “Showroom is a great concept with fascinating development potential for this type of platform in fashion segment. We reach lots of target groups interested in fashion [and this deal] makes an excellent foundation for a strategic partnership between Showroom and Burda International.”
Michal Juda and Jasiek Stasz, Showroom’s co-founders said that the deal will help awareness Polish fashion designers grow overseas.
“We believe that Polish fashion has a great potential. Our designers have a lot to offer and we want to make their voice heard outside of Poland. Thanks to Burda International investment and their great experience we would like to open new door to our designers, especially abroad,” they said.
Showroom landed undisclosed seed funding from Poland-based HardGamma Ventures back in March.
Europe’s online ecommerce industry is taking off and, just yesterday, accessory, show and bag site Spartoo landed $32.6 million in Series C funding, while Rocket Internet-owned Zalando nabbed an estimated $20-$40 million from JP Morgan earlier in the summer.
Rivals are also emerging from outside of Europe and Simply Fab is one of a number of US giants eyeing the continent. The celebrity-backed startup pledged to expand its presence there when it announced its recent $76 million in Series B round.
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