Atterley.com, a retail platform founded and chaired by Mike Welch OBE who sold online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com to Michelin in 2015, is eyeing a range of fundraising options – including strategic international investors and crowdfunding – eighteen months on from its launch in 2016.
Atterley allows independent fashion boutiques and brands to sell their inventory online across the world, and Mike Welch believes a market best known for industry players like billion dollar plus-valued Farfetch, NYSE-listed lux goods marketplace Ahalife.com and homeware and gifting marketplace Trouva, who raised a £7.6 million Series A round led by BGF Ventures last November, has room for new entrants and is well positioned to make an impression focusing on independent fashion to a wider demographic than some of the more exclusive market participants.
Mike Welch said: “The metrics are showing us that there is a fast-growing market in every continent for online fashion items curated by independent boutiques and brands. We’re growing quickly in the US and Europe, and starting to make a bigger impression in Asia and that’s going to be a really interesting region for us going forward.”
Atterley opened a Singapore office in 2017 – it also has offices in Edinburgh, London and Rome – and is actively discussing the forthcoming funding phase with a number of investors in the region. The Singapore office is headed up by Debra Langley, a former President of DKNY JEANS International and an adviser to Start Today Ventures, who is now a strategic advisor to Atterley’s Board.
Atterley recently added menswear, has over 100 boutiques on the site and is selling to 60 countries worldwide. The team on boarded a number of Italian and German independents in 2017 and is set to continue its international expansion in 2018.
COO Kenny Baillie said: “By assembling a network of some of the best independent boutiques under the Atterley brand, the site creates economies of scale in product range, marketing and distribution costs that makes online more viable for boutique partners, many of whom had previously found it challenging to operate on the web.”
In the UK alone, fashion sales are forecast to grab over £18 billion and almost a third of all online spend by 2020.