The e-commerce sector is witnessing a lull in the country, but the fashion tech segment continues to see an influx of investments. In Hyderabad, the sector is only set to grow, with the total investments expected to touch the $2 million mark this year.
Investors have now stopped backing traditional e-commerce players and are more interested in the core technology offered by these fashion tech startups, said industry experts. “Investors have lost interest in regular e-commerce websites and mobile apps. The focus is on integrating fashion and technology to provide customized and personalized solutions to the end users,” said Karthik Venkat, co-founder of My Dream Store, which lets users create and sell custom-designed products such as coffee mugs and T-shirts.
Komal Prajapati, founder and CEO of Fabulyst, an online retail store that provides customised fashion products to users, said that personalized shopping is in demand.
“Traditional e-commerce players failed to address one of the biggest gaps between shopping online and shopping at a physical retail store — the presence of a shopping assistant or a stylist to give recommendations. Startups are now tapping into the possibility of offering personalized recommendations in the fashion tech space,” she said.
According to Sanjay Enishetty, managing director of Hyderabad-based investor group 50K Ventures, the market acceptance of ‘personalized’ shopping experiences is growing.
“Many fashion e-commerce companies shut shop as it is very hard to rake in profits using the conventional model. This has made investors reluctant to fund them. But startups using technology to offer customized shopping solutions are drawing a lot of interest. While the sector earlier catered largely to women buyers, many startups are now focussing on shopping solutions exclusively for men,” he said.
Vinutha Ralapalli, an investment expert said, “The next boom in the fashion tech space will be the use of augmented and virtual reality. The key is to leverage technology to enrich the customer’s shopping experience.”