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Thread sews up another £4m in funding

London-based online styling service Thread has secured £4m from its latest funding round, as investors seek services that “help customers get closer to fashion”.

The investment comes from private equity firm Beringea, existing investor Balderton Capital and a number of angel investors.

The funding will be used to expand Thread in the UK. It currently employs 30 people at its head office in east London, but plans to grow this.

Thread was founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Kieran O’ Neill, Ben Phillips and Ben Kucsan, and launched with $25,000 (£17,320) from American accelerator programme Y Combinator.

European technology investor Balderton led a $8m (£5.5m) funding round for Thread in August last year, and has contributed £1.5m to the latest round.

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner of Balderton, told Drapers the firm saw huge opportunities in fashion technology. It has already invested in Italian off-price etailer Yoox.com, French second-hand designer fashion marketplace Vestiaire Collective, shopping app Depop and Lyst, which notifies users when their favourite items are going on Sale.

“Retailers and fashion tech companies are trying to find ways to provide a different kind of service to customers and help them get closer to fashion,” said Liautaud. “Vestiaire is interesting because at the high end. Lyst has the ability to bring an enormous amount of brands to the consumer in one place.

“Thread is a different kind of proposal. A lot of people don’t know how to shop; they don’t know what fits. Thread offers personal shopping but using the power of algorithms.”

Other investors in Thread include: Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, co-founders of Google-owned tech startup DeepMind; Andrew Jennings, former president of Saks Fifth Avenue; Sebastian Picardo, chief retail officer at Lane Crawford and Maurice Helfgott, former board director at Marks & Spencer.

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