Last week, “pre-tail” fashion startup Moda Operandi raised $36M Series C led by RRE Ventures.
By Áslaug Magnúsdóttir (Co-Founder & CEO, Moda Operandi)
There is no perfect script for launching a business and I don’t pretend to have all the answers to these questions. But I do hope that sharing my thoughts and experience over the weeks to come can shed some light on the issues that fashion startups face and tease out some lessons learned. And, most important, I hope that my story might help others obsessed with an idea to take the plunge to see it through.
1. SOLVE A PROBLEM, EVEN IF OTHERS ARE ALSO PRESENT
You have heard it before and you will hear it again: a startup that solves a problem, addresses a need and/or fills a void is one that is best positioned for success. The fact that Moda Operandi (M’O) fills a gap in the market has been one of the key factors that has taken us this far. M’O also is unique in that it is the only business specializing in letting consumers pre-order the latest designer runway styles. But if solving a problem is critical to a company’s success, is uniqueness a requirement as well? Absolutely not.
Many examples exist of successful companies that were not the first of their kind. In the online fashion space, Gilt Groupe is a good example of this. Gilt took its concept (selling exclusive fashion at a discounted price through limited-time “flash sales”) from a business previously launched in Europe, Vente-Privée, but shaped the concept to address the needs of a US customer base. And Gilt is not alone: flash sale sites have taken the US by storm, delivering discounted goods and services to customers who crave them.
The bottom line is that while filling a void is key, being first to do it is not.
» Read the full article at Business Of Fashion.