British menswear suggestion and matching startup Thread has raised $22 million in a Series B funding round from Balderton Capital, Beringea, Forward Partners, and H&M group’s investment arm H&M CO:LAB, with participation from Maurice Helfgott and Sebastian Picardo. The company plans to use the funding to hire more AI specialists and ramp up its brand marketing efforts.
The startup's idea is to become a one-stop-shop for menswear by combining human stylists with AI algorithms to help customers choose what clothes to buy. When registering in the service, the users are asked a series of question about their style and clothes they like. Thread has partnered with over 50 brands so far, including Barbour, Hugo Boss, and Levis.
“More than ever, guys care about dressing well, which is why menswear is a growing market,” said Kieran O’Neill, CEO and co-founder of Thread. “But they face an overwhelming number of options on the High Street and online. We’re used to having digital services such as Uber, Netflix, and Spotify simplify other aspects of our lives, and men are now turning to Thread as their go-to solution for dressing well. As our stylists and algorithms learn more about our customers, we’ve brought on a huge number of new brands to help each of our customers find the perfect clothes for them.”
The company, which employs around 100 people, now has over a million users. Thread also stated that a quarter of all its customers now do all their clothes shopping on the platform. The average customer of the startup is in their late twenties to early forties.
The company has raised more than $40 million in funding so far. In addition to that, Thread has announced that it will launch an equity crowdfunding campaign on the Crowdcube platform before the end of 2018.
In the photo (left to right): Thread co-founders Ben Phillips and Kieran O'Neill; Shaunie Brett, head of styling at Thread