Contxto – Swiss VC firm Bulb Capital recently invested US$7 million in a São Paulo-based fashion startup, AMARO.
AMARO, a digitally native women’s fashion brand, began in 2012 and has recruited over 400 staff members Before the end of this year, the company also plans to deliver 1.5 million articles of clothing. After many years of pursuing growth, the company is now aiming to reach profitability. Not only will the new funds provide liquidity but also time to pass its break even point.
Many hail AMARO as a prime example of an e-commerce enterprise using technology to its advantage in an emerging market. Unlike traditional fashion labels, AMARO uses data as well as logistics to streamline operations on its web domain and mobile application.
It also sells omnichannel via digital “guide shops” beginning in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Rather than replacing online stores with physical ones, these spaces try to combine the two.
Essentially, guide shops display a selection of AMARO’s 10,000-piece inventory for shoppers to browse. With this, shoppers can try on clothes with only an image or video serving as inspiration. If they find something of interest, there are computers available to make purchases online.
“We have to go offline to attract the online consumers,” said CEO and co-founder Dominique Olivier. “Guide shops answer the frequently-asked-questions by first buyers and give credibility to a new brand.”
Besides its tech-savvy shopping platform and retail innovations, it specializes in various other areas. These include marketing, digital marketing, supply chain management, social media, eCommerce, as well as data science.
Thanks to this, the startup has become one of the most recognized fashion brands for women in Brazil. Sales have reportedly grown by as much as 100 percent a year, which is impressive since the fashion market is unpredictable.
This is also AMARO’s third time collaborating with Bulb Capital. Previously known as Sallfort Privatbank, Michael Bornhaueuser Bulb Capital rebranded the firm in 2019. Since then, it has primarily focused on supporting Brazilian companies. Past Latin American investments include Trocafone, a Brazilian e-market for used electronics.
Bulb Capital shareholders have invested a total of US$16.6 million in AMARO throughout three previous trade deals. AMARO’s valuation is approximately US$7 million, according to CrunchBase.