Internet start-ups and tech firms have always been the darlings of investors. The real time web and mobile apps, we’re used to; but custom clothing is not what comes to mind in terms of hot sectors. Recently, we’ve seen private equity firms, venture capitalists, and angel investors unleash a flurry of custom clothing deals, flushing funds into firms that supply their patrons with tailored clothes and accessories often over the internet.
By our count, six custom apparel and accessory firms have received over $100 million in private equity, venture capital or angel financing in the past twelve months from investors such as Fireman Capital Partners, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital to name a few. To put the surprising nature of the numbers into perspective, we found that $23.3 million has flown to Twitter based private companies and just over $100 million has gone to iPhone predicated private companies. So this $100 million into custom clothing companies from private equity and venture investors is significant when considered against the backdrop of the mania that surrounds these two technology companies.
The low start-up costs and capital requirements are creating a more crowded field with dozens of emerging firms competing for a slice of the market. No clear winners have emerged yet and a mix of established firms seeking growth equity investments and younger upstars venture money are entering the fray.