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Edgy Paris-based e‑fashion startup Rad has the U.S. in its sights as it nets $3.3 million in funding

The fash­ion e‑commerce space might be get­ting crowd­ed, as any sea­soned e‑commerce man­ag­er could tell you, but that doesn’t stop it from attract­ing more and more con­sumers and more and more investors keen to back the next Big Thing. Paris-based start­up Rad could well be just that, hav­ing just raised $3.3 mil­lion (€2.5 mil­lion) to expand its hip­ster fash­ion offer­ings to the Unit­ed King­dom, Ger­many and, in the near future, the U.S.

Europe first, U.S. next 

So says Rad’s co-founder and CMO David Smad­ja, who explained that after the first step of expand­ing in Europe, the start­up will be look­ing to set up vir­tu­al shop state­side in two years.

In the scheme of things, $3.3 mil­lion might not seem a vast sum for a fash­ion e‑commerce firm, at least to the high­er-end e‑commerce man­ag­er (Fab, for exam­ple, just net­ted $150 mil­lion in the lat­est round of fund­ing and is cur­rent­ly val­ued at $1 bil­lion). But from small acorns, mighty oaks may grow, and Rad’s main investor, Index Ven­tures, cer­tain­ly seems to see it in this light (it prof­fered 2 mil­lion of the €2.5 mil­lion).

And when you con­sid­er that Rad has picked up more than 1 mil­lion users and is on course to make €15 mil­lion in sales before hit­ting its first birth­day, you can see why. That’s the kind of suc­cess any e‑commerce man­ag­er would be delight­ed to claim brag­ging rights over.

Smad­ja says that the fund­ing will help accel­er­ate Rad’s growth, enabling him and his co-founder col­leagues Simon Amza­log (the firm’s CFO) and Antho­ny Serero (the CEO) to “hire key peo­ple, build a logis­tics plat­form, speed up acqui­si­tion through mar­ket­ing, devel­op our pro­duc­tion capac­i­ties.”

Edgy hip

Rad is care­ful­ly posi­tioned to be just a tad edgi­er than hip out­lets like Urban Out­fit­ters. As Smad­ja puts it, “Our com­peti­tor would be Urban Out­fit­ters. The direc­tion we’re tak­ing will set us apart in terms of offer (we focus on small brands and cool prod­ucts that are dif­fi­cult to find and our dynam­ic is much dif­fer­ent)”.

Rad’s big dif­fer­ence is that it’s a ful­ly online alter­na­tive and it’s been pro­duc­tive­ly using the pri­vate sales busi­ness mod­el oth­er high­ly suc­cess­ful sites have deployed in their ear­ly days. That gives Rad a big advan­tage. Smad­ja observes, “We are com­pet­i­tive on prices, some­thing that Urban can nev­er be.”

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