Thread launched its crowdfunding campaign today and smashed its £500,000 target within an hour of the fundraise going live on Crowdcube. At the time of writing the online men’s shopping platform had achieved more than £1m with 30 days on the campaign still to run.
The crowdfunding initiative was launched to give the platform’s customers the chance to buy into the business following the raising of $22m in a series B funding round completed earlier this month and led by investors including H&M’s CO:LAB, Balderton Capital, Beringea and Forward Partners.
Co-founder and CEO Kieran O’Neill said: “We’re humbled and excited by how many of our customers have decided to invest in Thread in the first day of the campaign. We couldn’t have got here without their support, and I’m thrilled to have them join us on our journey to reinvent how the world shops for clothes.”
Thread combines the best of man and machine to create a truly personalised shopping experience for men. Each customer is asked to complete a personal questionnaire when joining the service and is assigned a personal stylist the help them select the most appropriate clothes according to preferences and budget. It also employs artificial intelligence to learn the customer’s behaviour and serve up a completely unique set of suggestions for each customer.
Since its launch in 2012, Thread has grown a customer base of more than one million men, some 25% of which say they buy all of their clothes from the platform. In the past year it achieved sales of £14m. It offers more than 500 different brands from designer labels to high street names and niche independent designers such as Paul Smith, Burberry, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, Marks & Spencer, Levi’s and Kestin Hare.
“The ability for our customers to share in the success of Thread is something that is really important to me, and crowdfunding is a great way for us to democratise our funding round by opening up the opportunity to everyone. We’re really excited to have hit our target already and grateful to everyone who has decided to invest in Thread so far,” O’Neill said.
“Since the beginning of Thread we have always built the service in collaboration with our customers. We’re obsessive about understanding their needs, and have worked closely with customers to craft the experience. We feel lucky that this has resulted in a very loyal, engaged customer base. We’re excited to now give them the opportunity invest in the business on the same terms as our professional investors,” he added.