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Startups

Fashion platform Ably looks to raise over $20 mn

This pre-unicorn operates one of the Big 5 fashion apps in Korea

By May 20, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Fashion platform Ably looks to raise over  mn

South Korea-based Ably Corporation, the operator of fashion platform Ably, is seeking to raise around 40 billion won ($35.3 million), attracting a pool of major domestic venture capital firms hoping to invest in the rapidly growing company, according to VC industry sources on May 20.

Following the funding, the company's valuation is estimated to reach around 400 billion won.

Last September, the company’s enterprise value hovered around 300 billion won when it raised a total of 37 billion won from investors including the Korea Development Bank, LB Investment and Kolon Investment.

Once the latest funding round wraps up, the company’s amount raised is expected to top 80 billion won, including the 7 billion won from its Series A round in 2019.

Founded in 2015, Ably Corporation grew its business via fashion app Ably, which started as a fashion app offering celebrity-designed styles. Although it was a latecomer to the online fashion scene, the platform grew to join the Big 5 fashion apps such as ZigZag, W Concept, Musinsa and Brandi.

The company has since expanded its operations to create a platform that helps individuals open up their own shopping malls. It also uses big data to provide personalized recommendations for its fashion app users.

The company's rapid growth played a significant role in its high valuation. Since debuting Ably in March 2018, the fashion app has grown to attract 4.2 million monthly active users with an annual gross merchandise value (GMV) of 400 billion won.

Last July, Ably Corporation was selected as a pre-unicorn by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

In 2020, the company posted 52.6 billion won in revenue, up by 66% compared to the previous year. However, it remains in the red given its operating loss of 38.4 billion won.

Write to Jong-woo Kim at jongwoo@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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