Fashion Kingdom (TFK), an Egyptian e-commerce marketplace for fashion, beauty and home accessories, has announced that it has raised $2.6 million in seed funding led by CVintures, an Egypt-based corporate venture capital firm. A15, an early stage VC in the MENA region, has made a series of investments, including Esaal, Paymob and Helios Investment Partners subsidiary, TPay, according to TFK.
Co-founder and CEO of TFK, Fadi Antaki, founded the company in January 2020 with Mariane Simaika and Karim Abd El Kader. Six months later, they launched an e-commerce platform. Antaki is a general partner in A15. Antaki saw the need for a platform that sells fashion products with fast delivery, different payment methods and recommendations. This opportunity led the CEO to use the knowledge he learned as a child in a family with a long history in the clothing business to start TFK.
“We started the company before covid. And at that time, we saw a huge gap, or perhaps a lack of focus, in a space dedicated to selling fashion products, advice on what to wear, fast delivery, and different payment methods. “There was no one particularly focused on fashion,” Antaky said.
TFK caters to a variety of products that cater to different demographics–shoes, beauty products, personal care, accessories, home fashion, etc. The platform provides an omnichannel experience for local and international brands to grow their sales online through their marketplace: a place where consumers can find all their fashion needs and exchange products when needed.
There are more than 200 brands on the TFK platform, growing at 10-15% every month. It has more than 150,000 customers; 40% of sales come from returning customers every month.
The platform not only allows customers to view and purchase products of all these brands, but also provides ancillary services. TFK offers a virtual fitting room that helps brands adapt to their customers’ sizes and recommend outfits to customers for different occasions. Also, its “360-degree value proposition” for brands includes providing a one-stop-shop solution covering operations, co-marketing and digital content creation services.
“Early this year, we found that one of the most important areas we thought we should focus on was branding. There are good quality and value brands that don’t have the knowledge of how to sell online. They need a lot of support in operations, fulfillment, warehousing, and digital production and photography.” “So, in addition to selling their products, we also support the operations or marketing side, helping them with various aspects of selling well online,” said the CEO. And for us, it’s not just about reselling their products, but also coming in as their digital partners.
A fashion e-commerce platform monetizes through the traditional model, which is a consignment model where a markup is charged for products and a commission is charged. Supporting revenue streams come from additional services offered by brands such as photography and marketing. Antakya confirmed that the company’s total sales volume increased by 3x from April 2021 to April 2022.
In the year By 2021, the global fashion e-commerce market will be worth nearly $700 billion. In the year By the end of 2022, it is expected to surpass this figure and reach around $1.2 trillion within three years. According to Statista, the total market in Egypt is around $4.2 billion. With no clear market leader in the Egyptian fashion e-commerce space, Antaki said his company is poised to become one and take the lead from players such as Dress Code, Brandoo and Gahez because of its presence with brands.
“We have two main differentiators. One is the omnichannel experience. The other is not just being a seller, but being a partner to brands and helping them to be sustainable and grow their business through our platform and other services we provide,” he said.
Other investors in the round include Lotus Capital, Raba Capital, Sunny Side Venture Partners, Foundation Ventures, Cairo Angels and fashion industry veterans such as Paul Antaki and Nasser Churbagh.
According to the company statement, TFK will use the investment to accelerate its growth, build flexible technology and grow its team, whose female employees make up 43% of the total workforce and 50% of the company’s managers. “In terms of talent, we intend to fill the needs, build our technology, streamline our operations and deliver the ultimate customer experience. So basically, we’re using the funds across tech, talent and operations,” the CEO added.