Personal Styling Start-up ‘Thread’ Raises £5 Million in Funding
A London-based start-up company whose business is based around providing personalised styling services with the help of intelligent algorithms has raised over £5 million in support of its development.
Backers of the business include an artificial intelligence start-up called DeepMind, which was acquired by Google, while the Series A funding round was led by Balderton Capital.
Having been founded in 2012, Thread is designed primarily to help style-conscious but time-pressed and shopping-averse men decide more easily and quickly what clothes to wear and fashion items to buy.
Over the course of the past two years, the business has been able to grow its user numbers from 10,000 to in excess of 200,000.
The Thread platform is based around combining the assessments of human stylists who are assigned to specific customers with data based on customer quizzes and responses to silhouetted on-screen suggestions.
Algorithms are then used to identify items that are available, ready to purchase and within a price range that’s already been set by individual customers.
“Thread works by taking the best elements of human stylists — their taste, ability to look at your photo and know what you'll suit, and answer any questions you may have — and blending them with the best elements of a computer, namely, the ability to remember everything you've ever said, look through millions of items and do that all instantly,” explained Thread’s CEO Kieran O’Neill in a recent interview with the Business of Fashion magazine.
A valuation for Thread has not been disclosed but investors have been happy to back the London start-up on the basis of what they see as clear growth potential and the expertise of the leadership team in place at the company.
"We invested in Thread because we believe they have the right combination of product design, technology and styling expertise to build a game-changing experience for customers,” explained Daniel Waterhouse from Balderton Capital.
“Men don't enjoy shopping, despite spending billions of pounds on it every year, and Thread is on a path to make it significantly easier, effective, and perhaps even fun.”
Martin has nearly 20 years’ corporate finance experience specialising in advising owner managed businesses. Martin has considerable experience advising on business sales as well as management buy-outs and acquisitions across a wide range of sectors and deal sizes.