Cult Mia, a London-based online fashion marketplace launched in 2019, has secured £2.5M in its first round of seed funding, with prominent industry backers including Fuel Ventures, David Wertheimer, Morgan Stanley, and WomanKind Ventures.
Founded and led by Nina Briance, Cult Mia aims to build the leading platform for sustainable and conscious luxury fashion. The industry newcomer’s initial round of seed funding is said to be oversubscribed thanks to the uniqueness and efficiency of the young brand’s operating model that allows for higher level of agility and profit margin without sacrificing the brand’s high rate of growth.
“Cult Mia’s sector is one we have been looking at for several months, and we’ve passed on a selection of opportunities where we felt the unit economics were not strong enough or that there was not enough of a USP compared to the existing players.” Says Mark Pearson, Founder & Managing Partner at Fuel Ventures. “Cult Mia’s long term vision and focus on long-term relationships, both with the platform’s brands and customers, excites us and speaks to our experience working with marketplaces previously. We’ve watched such significant growth in the luxury marketplace space, but have never really been keen to involve ourselves. Why? Because the majority of companies we’ve seen have had poor margins and the same stock as the major players. We’ve never been convinced that’s a space for us. We really feel like what Cult Mia is building allows us to enter this space with real confidence.”
Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director and EMEA Head of the Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Group, says Cult Mia’s footprint of over 42 countries and coverage of more than 320 independent brands is another reason that draws investors’ attention.
Build to facilitate shoppers in finding independent brands that have been vetted and curated based on value, sustainability and other measures, Cult Mia knows the historically dominant online luxury players have been slow to respond to the ever-changing behavior of the consumers, which left space for Cult Mia to become the go-to destination for unique and sustainable luxury shopping. The platform has secured the leading, exclusive supply of values-driven brands, with more than 40% of the products listed on the platform can only be found on Cult Mia, and 100+ brands currently on the wait-list to join, not to mention a 95% brand retention rate since inception.
“We’re incredibly excited to have received this investment,” says Nina Briance, founder and CEO of Cult Mia, and says the brand will use the investment to further advance automating its platform technology, increase efficiencies in acquiring and retaining customers, while expanding the core team to cover new product and service verticles planned to roll in 2024. Cult Mia’s tech IP has been and will continue to be a significant focus in order to continue putting the platform way ahead of the competition both for brands and shoppers via a product-to-market that is quicker than fast fashion, while guaranteeing sustainability.
“This backing points to the future of online luxury platforms—with distinctive, curated, values-driven fashion. I believe that we have found the leading strategic partners in our space: deep marketplace scaling expertise, unique financial sponsorship and support from the most reputable institutions, and backing from fashion royalty. I’m humbled by this investor line-up and truly energised for the next stages of Cult Mia’s growth journey.”
Visit www.CultMia.com for further information.