The world of fashion e-commerce is worth $408 billion and is ever-expanding. Both fashion brands and retailers hold several photoshoots each year to publish a new collection, spending around 7.5 per cent of annual revenue.
Dutch startup Lalaland aims to tap into this market with a cost-effective model-generating tool that replaces time-consuming and costly photoshoots. The Amsterdam-based fashion tech platform has now raised €2.1 million in funding to do so. The pre Series-A round was led by Orange Wings and Unknown Group and saw the participation of angel investors, including former Nike general manager Bart de Wilde, Google’s Amhard Ford and Thorsten Koch, and Christina Caljé from Autheos.
The cash injection will be used to drive the next stage of its commercial expansion and to hire a diverse group of talent.
Founded by Michael Musandu and Ugnius Rimsa in 2019, Lalaland utilises artificial intelligence to enable fashion brands and retailers to use hyper-realistic models of every body type, size, and skin tone. With these body-inclusive avatars, the company aims to create a more inclusive, personal, and sustainable shopping experience for fashion brands, retailers, and customers.
Apart from creating a highly personalised experience, the company claims its virtual fashion model platform takes just 15 per cent of the cost of conventional photoshoots. According to the company, its platform will boost sales, reduce return rates and costs, increase conversion and cut waste for a more inclusive shopping and brand experience.
Lalaland has onboarded some of the largest fashion retailers in Europe, including Zalando, Wehkamp, and Otto.
Founder and CEO Michael Musandu said: “Our product is centred around solving the issues of consumers who feel underrepresented in terms of ethnicity, gender identity, and body representation. So, we want to work with people who can relate to these issues, in order to facilitate positive change in co-creation.”
Orange Wings founder and CEO Shawn Harris said: “This is a unique opportunity to help retailers and brands truly create positive change in the fashion industry and to reduce returns and ultimately waste.”
Former Nike general manager and angel investor Bart de Wilde added: “I have been at the heart of this problem in sports, footwear, and apparel, so I can’t stress enough how valuable this will be for our industry.”