East End – The Fashion E-commerce ‘Unicorn’ from Korea

East End's apparel brand Rozley has seen tremendous growth online.

Fashion on E-Commerce has seen explosive growth in recent years with consumers preferring online shopping over offline retail market visits. In South Korea the fashion e-commerce market has been growing 19% annually since 2015 while the offline fashion market has been stagnant since 2013.  This has created opportunities for Korean start-up East End Co. Ltd., which is rapidly becoming one of the most popular e-commerce Fashion publisher in the country.

‘Fashion Intelligence’ to build small brands

East End’s service was launched in September 2016 under the premises of adding  “Intelligence” to the fashion industry in Korea. The market size of the Korean fashion e-commerce market is estimated to be $55 billion with more than 30,000 brands available in the market. In this competitive market, many brands struggle to get noticed by the customers and en-up closing shops within short period of time. East End wants to support these fashion brands to run successfully by  by empowering them through their e-commerce platform. The start-up is currently hosting five different brands. They support the fashion  brands by setting up infrastructure in areas of marketing, overseas business, finance, logistics, and customer service. The company selects items based on data analytics with wide set of variables such as real-time web search record, customer feedbacks and even weather.

The success of East End’s business model can be gauged by the growth of their first brand “Rozley”, which saw 500% growth in monthly revenue after only 6 months of operation and ever since, it has been continuously growing in size and brand power.

The start-up’s mission is to develop Home grown fashion brands

to be corporatised, specialised and globally recognised.

The company expects a sales revenue of at least $10 million by end of 2018. East End has raised $3.3 million from Capstone Partners, ES Investor, Seoul Investment Partners, Posco Capital, Angel Investor till now. Last year Venture company Capstone Partners had invested one billion won ($88,000 approx.) in East End. According to an executive at Capstone Partners, they have invested in East End as they believe the e-commerce platform has competitive edge in the fashion market and professional team with experience in fashion industry.

Vision to Empower the Fashion Industry

East End has visualised three simultaneous projects to build scalable business.

  • The start-up wants to enter the cosmetic brands market as well apart from the apparel business, to enhance growth and revenue.
  • East End wants to acquire small to medium size apparel/accessory brands to broaden their portfolio.
  • The company wants to set up a co-working space that can be home to many small sized fashion brands with facilities for branding, logistics, customer relations and content creation.

East End wants to become a global fashion leader, an e-commerce fashion unicorn, serving the women in their 20s and 30s for their apparel, cosmetics and lifestyle goods needs.

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