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10-month-old fashion site The Iconic snags $19.2 million – StartupSmart

Sydney-based fashion retailer The Iconic has landed almost $20 million in funding from JP Morgan Asset Management, despite launching less than a year ago.


The Iconic, which describes itself as “the latest destination for fashion and footwear”, was founded by Finn Haensel, Adam Jacobs, Cameron Votan, Ryan Tuohy and Andreas Otto.


All five founders were working at McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group when they were approached by Rocket Internet, an online accelerator based in Berlin, to start up The Iconic.


In addition to The Iconic, Rocket Internet has invested in Wimdu, Pinterest, and Groupon in Europe and Australia.


On top of an impressive range of brands, The Iconic prides itself on its service-oriented attitude, employing local customer service consultants and offering free express shipping.


Since the beginning of this year, the site has grown at a monthly rate of about 20-30%. It currently attracts around 150,000 unique visitors per day and three million per month.


It has also grown from a team of 10 staff to a team of 300. Now, the site has secured $19.2 million in funding from JP Morgan Asset Management.


JP Morgan joins Rocket Internet and Swedish fund Kinnevik as a shareholder in The Iconic, along with the company’s five founders.


Haensel told SmartCompany the cash would be used to ensure the company has enough stock for next season.


“We originally had a business plan which expected a certain amount of growth, but what we can do with this money is to invest further into the company and accelerate our growth,” he said.


“We’ll use it to become more efficient, automating processes and investing money into new markets.”


“We have just started in the kids market and we are becoming bigger in New Zealand as well as in Australia, and we can do more marketing to acquire more customers.”


Despite the onslaught of major overseas retailers such as ASOS and Shopbop, Haensel said the founding team could still see a gap in the market.


“We thought there was space for full-service, convenience-orientated online retail but we did not know how big the space would be,” he said.


“We did not really know in the beginning how important convenience and range would be as opposed to lower price.”


Haensel said pricing can sometimes be a sore point for the company.


“ASOS in the UK very often buys directly from the brands while we buy from local distributors, so we have to accept local Australian prices,” he said.

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