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Aussie startup Kent and Lime’s curated men’s fashion offering sizes up Asian market

Monday, 6 July 2015 | By Kye White
Just because some men dislike shopping, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to look good.


That’s the premise behind a number of curated shopping startups like Europe’s Outfittery and America’s Trunk Club. Upon signing up, users fill out a quick survey that determines the types of clothes they like to wear. Then the startup’s in-house stylists select a collection of clothes to be delivered to their door. Customers are then free to try on and purchase any items they would like, those they don’t can be sent back free of charge.


Australian startup Kent and Lime, which launched about a year and a half ago and is in the process of closing a $750,000 seed round, is eyeing off the as yet untouched curated shopping market in Asia, co-founder Will Rogers says.


“I’ve got a retail background so get it. Being a guy, I empathise really strongly,” he says.


“We can be a $20 million year business in Australia, but our focus is Asia. We want to take our personalisation engine to all the major Asian cities.”


Operating solely in Australia, Kent and Lime has generated $700,000 in revenue to-date and that figure is growing at a rate of 25% month-on-month. It’s signing up 2500 new users a month, 3% of which go on to make a purchase through the site. Window shopping isn’t a problem. Thirty-five per cent of items sent to customers, usually in batches of eight to ten items worth about $1000 in total, are purchased. Users choose how often to receive batches of clothes, once every two months, or once every four.


Rogers says the startup uses data from customers’ previous purchases in an attempt to better tailor the clothes its sends to individual customers. The data would suggest it’s working – the startup’s repeat customers have a higher sell through rate than first timers.


“We’ve built an algorithm which learns about what our customers like, based on their preferences,” Rogers says.


“We map all our products so they correlate with attributes on a customer’s profile. We’re able to understand the social environment they’re working on, and the specific activities they do that affect the types of clothing he can wear.


“It’s all about using the data in a smart way and not just collecting for the sake of it.”


Kent and Lime has already signed on a Sydney-based tech-focused venture capital firm, which Rogers won’t name, for its seed round and is searching for high net worth investors with a background in online marketing, retail or technology to close the round.


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