Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Economy | By

Fashion startup Zilingo raises $226 million from Singapores Temasek, others

Fashion startup Zilingo raises $226 million from Singapores Temasek, others

This would make Bose - who graduated from St Xavier's College, Mumbai, with an economics and mathematics degree in 2012 - the first Indian female co-founder and CEO of a high-valued startup.

Zilingo, an online fashion and lifestyle marketplace, has secured $226 million in its Series D funding round, which witnessed investment from Sequoia Capital, Temasek, Burda Principal Investments, Sofina, Singapore investment fund EDBI, along with existing investors. The latest financing valued Zilingo at $970 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

As per the report, the startup has racked up a total $306 million in form of funding.

Starting up for women entrepreneurs is not easy. Revenue grew 12 times in the year ended March 2018 and fourfold in the April to January period, according to the company.

Zilingo, a Southeast Asia fashion e-commerce website founded by 27-year-old Ankiti Bose in 2014, is all set to scale new heights, approaching Dollars 1 billion valuation, making Ankiti Bose among the youngest female chief executives to lead a start-up of the size in Asia. Among other major startup ecosystems, the United States ranked in the top five, while China is in the top 30.

"Personally, a lot of men have been very helpful to me in my journey". "Whether it is techies in Bengaluru or the fashion gurus of Singapore or merchants, being empathetic is essential", Bose said.

Bose was scouting for investments in Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia and Philippines for Sequoia Capital India in late 2014 when she met Kapoor in Bengaluru. Bose was then 23-year-old and Dhruv Kapoor was 24-year-old, software engineer at gaming studio Kiwi Inc., when they randomly had a realisation that they possess complementary skills and certain ambitions to develop their individual startup.

While Bose has figured out a way to differentiate Zilingo, her challenge is to now manage the company's "hyper-growth" by recruiting the right leadership team and maintaining the right culture, said Shailendra Singh, managing director of Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore.

Zilingo has grown by integrating its B2B and B2C platforms and focussing on serving the merchants better. As she did that, she saw a huge opportunity to build a business herself.

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