Grana wins fresh funding

Online fashion retailer Grana has just raised $1.5 million in fresh investment funding.

The funding round was led by Golden Gate Ventures and reinforces the Hong Kong-based Australian entrepreneur’s business model has captured the imagination and attention of start-up investors.

Grana is the creation of Australian Luke Grana, who was inspired by the high quality of t-shirts he came across during a trip to Peru. The site was developed with a unique business model in mind – in Grana’s own words “high-quality fashion at disruptive prices”.

“Our business model is a little bit different; we deal directly with fabric mills instead of going through distributors or agents. Also, by operating online, we don’t have to pay rent. So when fashion retailers put in mark-ups along the way, our pricing is really simple: each of our shirts cost US$6, we retail that for US$12; jeans are US$20, we sell that for US$40. It’s a really honest and transparent pricing model and I think that’s what our, Generation Y customers prefer.”

Grana plans to use the capital injection to triple its range of styles, expand its online marketing into more countries and open more pop-up stores, which have proven hugely successful in building brand awareness in Hong Kong.

This year, Grana is expanding into China, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Dubai. It will also expand its range into new apparel categories: Mongolian cashmere sweaters, Irish linen shirts, French poplin shirts and US twill chinos.

Co-founder and operations head Pieter Paul Wittgen told TechCrunch.com that at its core, Grana is a logistics business: the company’s tech platform is integrated directly with DHL’s eCommerce system and orders are picked up from Grana’s warehouse three times a day.

Grana plans to launch a new website next month which will integrate social media networks like Instagram, so customers can tag outfit photos and show how they are styling the brand’s pieces. “We can never compete with H&M, but we can offer something at that price point that is better quality,” Grana told Techcrunch.

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