The fashion industry has seen significant changes in the past year, with many brands rethinking their strategies and business models in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst this shifting landscape, Collective, a New York-based fashion technology company, has raised $216 million in its latest funding round and secured Kering, the French luxury goods conglomerate, as a $1 billion partner.
Collective, founded in 2018, provides a platform for fashion brands to optimize their inventory management and pricing strategies using data and analytics. The company’s algorithms analyze consumer behavior and market trends to help brands make informed decisions about how much to produce and at what price points. This data-driven approach has proven particularly valuable during the pandemic, when brands have had to navigate an unpredictable market and respond to shifting consumer demand.
The $216 million funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from existing investors including General Catalyst, 14W, and Forerunner Ventures. The investment will allow Collective to expand its platform and services, including its recent launch of an AI-powered pricing optimization tool.
But perhaps even more significant than the funding is Collective’s partnership with Kering. The French luxury conglomerate, which owns brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta, has agreed to use Collective’s technology across its portfolio of brands. Kering’s investment will also give the company access to Collective’s data analytics and AI technology, which could help the luxury giant make more informed decisions about its production and pricing strategies.
In a statement, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, praised Collective’s technology and its potential to transform the fashion industry. “Our industry is undergoing significant transformation,” he said, “and Kering is determined to be at the forefront of innovation and industry best practices. We are pleased to support Collective, which we believe has the potential to make a real difference in the way fashion is produced, priced and sold.”
For Collective, the partnership with Kering represents a significant milestone in the company’s growth and development. In a statement, Collective’s CEO and co-founder, Kalpesh Kapadia, said that the investment and partnership “validate the tremendous work of our team in building an innovative technology platform that is transforming the fashion industry. We look forward to working with Kering to create a more sustainable and profitable future for fashion.”
The partnership could also have broader implications for the fashion industry as a whole. As Kering and other luxury brands increasingly embrace technology and data analytics, it could drive a broader shift towards more data-driven decision making across the industry. This, in turn, could help fashion brands become more sustainable and responsive to changing consumer demand.
Overall, Collective’s latest funding round and partnership with Kering demonstrate the growing importance of technology and data analytics in the fashion industry. As the industry continues to evolve and adapt in the wake of the pandemic, companies that are able to leverage data to make smarter decisions about production and pricing are likely to be the ones that come out on top.