Startup invests $100m to fix 'broken' fashion industry

Fashion technology firm, Zilingo, is investing $100m to digitally transform supply chain operations in the US.

The Singapore-based startup said the investment will benefit US factories and retailers by enabling them to compete in a global marketplace with improved line efficiency, labour management and sustainable sourcing.

Zilingo, whose business is based around matching apparel brands with suppliers and factories, will use software to enable US brands to digitise, automate and scale production.

It will also use artificial intelligence to predict trends, allowing businesses to reduce over-production and waste within supply chains. 

Technology such as inventory management, invoicing and financing tools, and predictive analytics will also be employed to optimise US supply chain operations. 

"The fashion industry is exploitative, wasteful and, frankly, completely broken," said Ankiti Bose, co-founder and CEO of Zilingo. “We want to level the playing field in fashion so that businesses – no matter how big or small – can have access to a fair, transparent, affordable, fast supply chain.

"We're a technology company at heart, and firmly believe in the power of technology to improve business and the world. We're bringing technology to a supply chain that hasn't changed since the industrial revolution.”

Zilingo's investment in the US is part of a strategy to grow in new markets such as North America, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

The company launched operations in the United States by setting up offices in New York and Los Angeles earlier this year. It plans to expand its US team to more than 100 from the current 17 by 2020. 

The firm was founded in 2015 by Bose and Dhruv Kapoor to allow merchants to sell to end consumers in Southeast Asia. It later began to cover sourcing, software, data and financing.

It claims that 60,000 retailers and 6,000 factories across 17 countries currently use its platform.

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