Designer Network and fashion retail platform, 6Degree (Protinus Fashion Networking Pvt. Ltd.) has raised fresh funding of Rs. 2.5 Crore from global early-stage investor network Keiretsu Forum – Delhi and Bangalore chapters.
6Degree Founders Amit Bhardwaj and Nikhil Hegde
Earlier in the year, 6Degree had raised an undisclosed amount from SucSeed Ventures as part of its Pre-Series A round. The company has also been funded earlier by the Indian Angel Network, Angel Bay and Keiretsu Forum in an earlier round.
“Keiretsu Forum brings an array of business growth expertise and key access to fashion retail segments, which will allow us to scale our technology solutions and bridge the gap between 700,000-plus homegrown designers and single/multi-brand stores across the country. With this round of funding, 6Degree will be able to move faster to help local designer talent become strong national or global brands,” said Nikhil Hegde, Co-founder and CEO of 6Degree.
Founded by Nikhil Hegde and Amit Bhardwaj in 2015, 6Degree brought the largely fragmented fashion industry on a single platform and has become India’s largest fashion network with over 15,000 fashion industry professionals and is currently home to over 4,000 fashion designers.
“Affordable designer wear is a segment that will see phenomenal growth as India’s middle class moves up the value chain and our investors see value in being a part of 6Degree’s journey to tap into that market,” said Denny Kurien, President of Keiretsu Forum Bangalore and Delhi NCR.
Keiretsu Forum is a global network of individual investors, funds, corporate entities and family offices looking to invest in early-stage companies. It allows members to work together on selecting deals and investing, with a view that the collective knowledge of the community can lead to better investment outcomes. Keiretsu Forum currently has more 250 investors as members in India.
Started in Silicon Valley in 2000, it is now one of the most active early-stage investor networks in the world with 56 chapters spread across more than 20 countries on four continents. According to Pitchbook, Keiretsu Forum funded 196 early-stage companies in 2019, by far the most by any investor network.
The Indian fashion retail industry is worth around $100 billion, while the global fashion market is in excess of $3 trillion. With the biggest youth population in the world, global and homegrown brands see India as a greenfield opportunity in the fashion segment.
There are over 700,000 home-grown fashion designer brands in India that seek to retail through over 75,000 single-brand and multi-brand stores. In addition to this, there are over 25,000 fashion design students who graduate each year with many of them aspiring to start their own fashion labels.
Starting off as a one-stop solution for fashion designers who traditionally sourced services through middlemen and producing two of the leading fashion shows in the country, 6Degree has now added to fashion retail management to its portfolio. This allows the company to not only help produce fashion, but also market and sell it.
The company has built partnerships with over 100 multi-brand stores and leading fashion platforms such as Lakme Fashion Week and FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India) Fashion Week, playing host to leading names in the fashion industry.
Through its 6degree.store platform, Indian designers now have access to global customers, particularly the Indian diaspora that values designer fashion. On the other hand, fashion service providers can now be discovered by leading brands through the 6Degree Network which is like a LinkedIn for fashion.
“6Degree has constantly been working in the affordable luxury segment with emerging designers. With over 4,000 designers and over 15,000 fashion professionals on the 6Degree network, there has been a need to leverage this asset and enable growth across the globe,” Nikhil Hegde said.
“With our strong partnerships with IMG Reliance, Lakme Fashion Week, Fashion Design Council of India, we have been able to help over 500 emerging and homegrown fashion designer brands by giving them access to national and international markets,” he added.
6Degree was started in 2015 by Nikhil Hegde and Amit Bhardwaj, with a vision to bring the unorganised fashion industry on one platform and through this, democratise style for consumers.
6Degree is India’s largest fashion network with over 15,000 professionals and home to over 4,000 fashion designers. The company also has long standing partnerships with over 100 multi-brand stores and leading fashion platforms such as Lakme Fashion Week and Fashion Design Council of India, playing host to leading names such as Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Arora and many others.
6Degree provides every stakeholder in the fashion industry with a opportunity to grow their business – either through service opportunities or product sales. Designers now have access to newer markets, nationally and internationally through 6Degree Retail Platform while fashion service providers can now be discovered by leading brands through India’s largest fashion network – 6Degree Network.
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