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Fashion eCommerce Startup Strides Co Raises Pre-seed Investment from Bangladesh Angels, and Our DTC Fashion Observations

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May 7, 2021

Strides Co, a Dhaka-based fashion ecommerce startup that sells premium contemporary clothing and wardrobe essentials, announced that it has raised a pre-seed round investment from Bangladesh Angels, per a press release. The details of the deal were not disclosed. 

Details: 

  • Founded by Ariq Mansur, CTO, Zahia Khondoker, CEO, and Alavi Khondoker, COO, Strides Co looks to cater to growing tech-savvy young fashion consumers in Bangladesh using deep expertise in apparel and technology. 
  • Kowser Ahmed, Founder, and CEO of The KOW Company is an angel investor in the company. 
  • With the new investment, the company plans to widen the collection and range of its in-house brands, work with third-party sellers, expand its geographical coverage and become a leading online fashion destination. 

FS Perspective

Direct-to-consumer fashion is a big trend across markets — dominant businesses are being built using a combination of tech and savvy design sense. 

As the coronavirus pandemic rages across the world, the model has suddenly found an increased relevance. Stores are closed. Consumers are increasingly relying on the internet for everything from daily necessities to luxury shopping. 

Direct-to-consumer also offers greater leverage over customer insights — every sale online is a data point. That being said, fashion remains a difficult space. 

Potential challenges for Strides Co could come from finding a balance between several competing priorities: one, whether to become a marketplace, which the company aims to become eventually or to focus on building its own brand — because operational realities of marketplaces are different from selling in-house DTC brands. Two, whether to diversify distributions aka combine multiple third party channels with DTC strategy to reach more customers.  

For now, Strides Co suggests it has a deep understanding of both tech and fashion to take on these challenges. 

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Ruhul Kader is a technology business and technology policy analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at [email protected]

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