Shouto Funding: Fashion discovery startup Shouto raises $1.6 million from Saama Capital, others

Fashion discovery startup Shouto has raised $1.6 million led by Saama Capital.

Whiteboard Capital, Amit Singhal, the former head of search at Google; Arjun Vaidya, founder of Dr Vaidyas, and 25 direct-to-consumer (D2C) founder angels also participated in the round.

The firm will invest the capital in product development, creator acquisition and engagement, and building a founding team of engineers and creator success managers, it said in a statement.

Shouto was founded by former Myntra, Ajio and Amazon executives Maruthy Ramgandhi, Abhishekk Handa, and Ayyappan Lakshmanan, respectively.

It aims to be a fashion discovery destination for Gen-Z in tier-1 cities.

“The disruption or massive explosion of D2C brands is a lot of clutter for consumers,” Ramgandhi told ET. “You have five large marketplaces, there are about 63-65 fashion brands, of which 40 are funded. Any fashion query or need you come across; you’ll have options. There is a lot of clutter that creates a need for a discovery platform.”

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He said discovery of fashion for young Indians is more difficult than it is for millennials or the older generation.

“What are the categories they are looking for? These are mostly new-age categories – street, athleisure, plus-size, sustainable, conscious wear, and casuals to work. If you go to some of these marketplaces – Myntra, Ajio – they don’t take care of the new-age nuances,” Ramgandhi said.

The company will make use of social media influencers on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest to curate and promote products through live or video commerce.

Ramganidhi compared Shouto to US-based LTK, which was valued at over $2 billion after raising around $300 million from SoftBank’s vision fund.

He said the company will not grow inventory but will direct the audience to respective brand websites. This is at the core of Shouto’s business model as it would make revenues per click and sales. It has already tied up with Zara, H&M, Damensch, Urbanic, and other brands.

“We are seeing social and creator-focused shopping startups gain a lot of traction in other markets, particularly the US,” said Ash Lilani, managing partner, Saama. “Shouto’s focus is to have an amalgamation of both these approaches to build a fashion destination for young Indians.”

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