GRANA, an international direct-toconsumer e-commerce fashion retailer, said it is raising US$10 million for its series A round led by Alibaba Group under the Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, with participation from existing investors Golden Gate Ventures and Hong Kong-based MindWorks Ventures to support expansion plans in its highest growth market, the US, and build out its product offering into new categories with sportswear, bags and accessories.
Since launching in October 2014, the start-up company continues to experience more than 15% month-onmonth growth in sales for its modern twist on timeless wardrobe essentials.
Following the Q1 announcement earlier this year, led by Golden Gate Ventures, MindWorks and Bluebell Group, the Grana team will move into a new 18,000sqf centralised warehouse in Hong Kong this month to manage business growth and plans to double its headcount to 100 employees by the end of next year.
“It all started in a 500sqf warehouse and now we’re moving into a bigger warehouse and celebrating our two-year anniversary this month. It’s a really exciting time for us. Our success is a testament to the amazing and talented in-house team, who have dedicated themselves to making quality products and creating a brand that drives so much word-of-mouth and online advocacy for us. We’re honoured to have Alibaba as a lead investor and the continued support from existing strategic investors”, said Luke Grant, CEO and founder of Grana.
With the new round of funding, Grana plans to expand its presence in the US, its largest international market, through setting up its rest pop-up showroom experience in New York for customers to try one and buy online, as well as build a local New York team to cater to its increasing customer base in the market. To help strengthen Grana’s market reach in Asia, Alibaba is also partnering with Grana for its market entry plan into mainland China.
“Grana has proved itself as an international e-commerce brand that uses a data-driven approach to optimise its business oaring and create an excellent customer experience. ey have a creative and energetic business culture which really resonates across their omni-channel and is indicative through their rapid growth. It is a very promising start-up and we are looking forward to building a long term partnership,” said Cindy Chow, executive director at e Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.
The company currently ships directly to customers across 12 countries from its centralised warehouse in Hong Kong within 1-2 days. Grana clothing is known for its highly constructed no-label wardrobe essentials, using the nest fabrics from around the world, and honest pricing — these include Peruvian Pima T-shirts from US$15, Chinese silk tops from US$29 through to Mongolian cashmere sweaters ranging from US$99.
“I have seen the Grana team grow from two co-founders to a large growing team with an office culture that mirrors the enthusiasm of their most passionate customers. Grant has re-imagined how to build a global brand, city by city, mixing pop-up stores and a simple online platform to build a massive community following. is latest round conrms our belief in their potential in the global market,” said Vinnie Lauria, managing partner at Golden Gate Ventures.
According to eMarketer, worldwide retail e-commerce sales are forecast to reach US$3.6 trillion in 2019. Also, Asia-Pacic is projected to account for 41% of global retail e-commerce sales followed by 21% from North America. To further drive Asia-Pacic as a global e-commerce hub, Grana’s business strategy will focus on looking into new markets for shipping with DHL and opening pop-up locations in key markets over the next 12 months.
“We have a very strong partnership with Grana and enjoy working with them as a global shipping partner. Since conducting its beta launch in 2014, the shipment volume we have handled has been growing exponentially. As an international specialist, we provided time-denite delivery for Grana to eight countries when it rst launched. Today, the express delivery has expanded to 12 countries with more to come. The new funding is a great accomplishment for such a young company,” said Ecila Chan, vice-president, Commercial, DHL Express Hong Kong.
The series A round will close at the end of this month. Grant also plans to debut its new Italian shirting, silk bomber jackets and transitional knitwear collection this season.