The teen fashion website Fashion Playtes, launched a year ago, in November 2009, based in Salem, Massachusetts, offers its users (ages from 5 to 12 years old) the possibility to custom and design a unique and personal collection of clothes and to then be able to purchase them at very affordable prices. The clothes can then be shipped directly to the girls’ doorstep in over 200 countries all over the world for a small price of $6. The girls can have her personalized wardrobe at home in about 3 weeks after the purchase.
Recently, the company has announced that it raised $4 million in series A funding round. The fund was led by Fairhaven Capital Partners, New Atlantic Ventures, Golden Seeds and Launch Capital. This round is not the only one, bringing the startup company a total funding of $5.8 million.
Fashion Playtes had the first funding round in the late summer of 2009 from LaunchCapital and New Atlantic Ventures. In February this years, another investment company, Golden Seeds, joined this series of funding, which was up to $1.8 million. Sarah McIlroy, the founder and CEO of Fashion Playtes, said that the company will end the A series funding at $2 million.
Rudina Seseri from Fairhaven Capital said that “As a retail innovator, FashionPlaytes.com is the first to bridge the gap between virtual games and physical goods in the girls gaming category. We’re interested in a business that is well positioned for growth at the intersection of entertainment and eCommerce in the multi-billion dollar tween retail market”. Along with the investment round, Seseri joins in the board of directors at Fashion Playtes.
Since its official beginning at the end of 2009, Fashion Playtes has allowed over 200,000 unique outfits to have been created on the virtual sketchbook of FashionPlaytes.com. Girls have created dresses, jean jackets, T-shirts and bags in more than five million design combinations. Prices are similar to The Gap Kids, paying for a pair of pants $15 and for a custom dress approximately $40.
In June this year, Sanrio, the company who is the owner and creator of Hello Kitty, started a partnership with Fashion Playtes to launch branded garments design kiosks in its retail stores from the USA. The funding obtained so far will be used, as Sarah McIlroy stated, for the product development and client acquisition. She also said that the company will focus on building a community for the website, which allows children to interact and to share the designs with each other.