AirCloset, a Japanese subscription box startup has announced it raising $8.4 million led by domestic venture capital firm JAFCO along with warehousing provider Terrada and White Kyubin, Japan’s leading dry cleaning chains.
Founded in 2014, the startup AirCloset specializes in women’s clothing from boutique Japanese fashion brands. It ships a set of three garments a month to subscribers which is generally a combination of tops, bottoms and dresses that can be worn together for JPY 6,800 (approx $57). It target at the young women and working mothers who do not find time to shop or discover new fashion labels. The clothing can be used many times as long as the subscriber pays the monthly subscription fee. The fee also includes shipping and dry cleaning. Since the clothes are recycled, must-have teams can be purchased at a point lower than retail.
With the fresh funds raised, the AirCloset plans to expand its clothing stock and strengthen the team by hiring new members. Satoshi Amanuma, CEO and founder of the startup said, “We are also going to expand our fashion categories – currently ladies only – to include maternity, kids’, men’s and senior fashion. We will also add accessory items to generate even more brand discovery.
When the company open pre-registrations in October last year, it expected around 2000 sign ups but ended cutting off registrations in December when the number grew more than 25,000. The company was overwhelmed with the response. The company claims that they have more than 70,000 total sign-ups till date including the ones in the waiting list.
Looking at the demand, the startup has plans to expand business to other Asian countries as well to spread Japanese fashion culture. Since the Japanese brands are highly regarded in the fashion world, the clothing it expected to sell itself.
Before this round of funding, AirCloset raised $844,000 in Series A round from Terrada in April 2015 and attracted $38,000 in seed funding from Samurai Incubate in August 2014.