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Fashion Startups with Indian Ties Raise Millions

A pair of e-commerce fashion brands with ties to India recently announced the completion of seed funding rounds.

Zyod, a B2B platform for fast fashion sourcing and apparel manufacturing, which opened shop in Gurugram at the start of the year with the mission of “assisting eCommerce and independent fashion brands in conquering the obstacles of conceptualizing new trends and identifying the ideal sourcing partner,” announced earlier this month the completion of a $3.5 million round of seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. And on Tuesday, The Lnk, an e-commerce shopping site meant to bring the fashions of Southeast Asia and the Middle East to North American shoppers, announced the completion of its $1 million seed funding round.

The Canada-based Gupta Group led the push behind The Lnk, whose founder and CEO Sonya Gill is a self-described entrepreneur, growth hacker and digital marketer from Canada who is of Indian ancestry.

The Lnk founder and CEO Sonya Gill

The Lnk is “groundbreaking for the fashion and beauty industry, offering access to amazing products from diverse cultures while solving for marketing challenges faced by indie brands around the world,” lead investor Reetu Gupta said. “Sonya has an amazing track record and the Midas touch.”

Gill said her company is able to facilitate intercontinental sales while still providing a “more sustainable approach.”

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In a statement, Gill said The Lnk offers a “counterpoint to ‘fast-fashion’.”

Most items on the platform are made to order, “which means the item is only made after a shopper places their order, so fabric is never wasted and customers get tailor-made clothing to suit any body type,” she said.

Zyod said it plans to use the seed money to strengthen its platform and to increase manufacturers and suppliers on its site and doesn’t shy away from using the term “fast fashion” to describe how it operates.

“At Zyod, we are making fast fashion accessible to every brand/retailer using our unique, agile supply chain,” co-founders Ankit Jaipuria and Ritesh Khandelwal said in a statement. “Brands increasingly are relying on us to be the one-stop shop for launching new styles every week without the worry of inventory, making us their partner from design to delivery.”

Zyod co-founders Ankit Jaipuria and Ritesh Khandelwal. Courtesy of Zyod

Zyod claims it can deliver minimum order quantities as low as 50 and delivery within 21 days. It wants to use the seed funding to increase its client list twentyfold and can produce clothing categories including loungewear, activewear, children’s wear and casual wear such as T-shirts and hoodies.

“While fashion is rapidly transforming globally, the incumbent supply chain has not kept pace with how rapidly consumers have evolved and it needs a complete reimagination of manufacturing itself, to build for the future,” Jaipuria and Khandelwal said in the statement. Zyod says it uses artificial intelligence to facilitate the design process and manages packaging and shipping before dispatching orders with its “end-to-end logistics” partners.

Along with the $1 million funding benchmark, The Lnk announced several new members of its corporate team, including Stephanie Mark, co-founder of the luxury media company Coveteur, as the company’s new head of merchandising, as well as two new board members in Richard McMahon, former chief security officer for Bed Bath & Beyond, and Alvina Patel, former VP of marketing at Farfetch.

Since its official launch in December of 2022, The Lnk has increased its number of available brands to nearly 450, each with 50 to 300 items available.