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.”
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.”