Amsterdam-based Lalaland, a fashion tech startup, announced on Friday that it has raised €2.1M in a new pre-Series-A round of funding led by Orange Wings and Unknown Group.
Numerous angel investors, including former Nike General Manager Bart de Wilde, Google’s Amhar Ford and Thorsten Koch, and Christina Caljé from Autheos, also participated in the round.
Lalaland says it will use the funds to facilitate the next stage of its growth, continue its commercial expansion, and hire a diverse group of talent.
“Our product is centred around solving the issues of consumers who feel underrepresented in terms of ethnicity, gender identity, and body representation. So we want to work with people who can relate to these issues, in order to facilitate positive change in co-creation,” says founder and CEO Michael Musandu.
What does Lalaland solve?
According to the Amsterdam company, the world of fashion e-commerce is worth $408B (approximately €380B) and is ever-expanding.
Both fashion brands and retailers hold several photoshoots each year to publish a new collection, spending around 7.5 per cent of annual revenue.
Lalaland taps into that market with a cost-effective model-generating tool that replaces time-consuming and costly photoshoots. With their self-service platform, anyone can recreate high-quality photoshoots with great ease.
Lalaland: What you need to know
Founded by Michael Musandu and Ugnius Rimsa in 2019, Lalaland utilises artificial intelligence to enable fashion brands and retailers to use hyper-realistic models of every body type, size, and skin tone.
With these body-inclusive avatars, the company aims to create a more inclusive, personal, and sustainable shopping experience for fashion brands, retailers, and customers.
Apart from creating a highly personalised experience, the company’s virtual fashion model platform takes just 15 per cent of the cost of conventional photoshoots.
The company says it helps boost sales, reduce return rates and costs, increase conversion and cut waste, and contributes to a more inclusive shopping and brand experience.
The company has onboarded some of the largest fashion retailers such as Zalando, Wehkamp, and Otto.
Orange Wings founder and CEO, Shawn Harris, was instantly inspired after seeing Lalaland’s pitch as a Dragon on Viaplay’s Dragons’ Den. He says, “This is a unique opportunity to help retailers and brands truly create positive change in the fashion industry and to reduce returns and ultimately waste.”
Angel investor Bart de Wilde also underscored the company’s urgency, “I have been at the heart of this problem in sports, footwear, and apparel, so I can’t stress enough how valuable this will be for our industry.”
Unknown CEO Hendrik Halbe resonated with the company’s calling, and says, “Now is the right time for Lalaland to take the industry by storm, and with this investment, we’re excited to support their international expansion.”