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Threads raises $20m to help millennials find luxury items

Threads, a chat commerce business that helps millennials find the right luxury outfit and accessories through social media and messaging, has raised a $20m Series A.

Investors in the round included C Ventures, Moda Operandi’s lead investor; and Highland Europe, one of matchesfashion.com’s biggest investors.

Threads seeks to change the luxury retail landscape by giving consumers a personal shopper in their pocket.

The company uses WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and WeChat to help customers find the best luxury items for every occasion.

Sophie Hill, founder and CEO of Threads, commented: “I started the business because I believed that luxury retailers were ignoring my peers, the generation of shoppers under 40. I believe the future of retail involves personalisation and chat. People want something that is akin to a retail experience but they want it through their mobiles and they want unparalleled convenience and availability.

“Social media is already driving much higher levels of brand engagement than traditional digital channels have been able to and we see this increasing in the future, as social becomes the default channel for fashion trends, styling and commerce.”

Threads, founded in 2010, has been growing rapidly in the past three or four years, with sales doubling every year.

The funding will help Threads, which currently has 90 employees, to continue its strong growth as it looks to hire at least 50 more people this year and prepares to open offices in Hong Kong and New York.

Clive Ng, co-founding partner of C Ventures, added: “We set up C Ventures to invest in companies that recognise the huge spending power of younger shoppers and also their preference for unique items and personalised content. Threads captures these trends into a game-changing luxury retail solution, with huge potential in Asia and other luxury markets.”

Tony Zappala, partner at Highland Europe, went on to comment: “We are seeing more and more that customers want to shop from their mobile device through channels such as Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, WhatsApp and so on.

“This trend is being led by Asia where millennials and Generation Z are rapidly becoming the biggest market. In Threads, Sophie has built a great business which has pioneered this trend and has assembled a team of very high calibre people who are anticipating the way the market will evolve and building a great tech product to serve it.”