Sojo repair app gets new $2.4m funding
UK-based alterations and repair platform Sojo has announced “a key milestone in its start-up journey”, securing over $2.4 million in a pre-seed funding round led by CapitalIT.
Other seed investors included Ascension, with participation from Mustard Seed MAZE (MSM), Vertex Albion Capital and 10x10 Angel Syndicate.
The business, founded by Josephine Philips immediately after graduating from university in June 2020, has a mission to “help make the fashion industry more circular by revolutionising the clothing repair and tailoring sector”.
Philips is a lover of vintage fashion but found that many secondhand pieces didn’t come in her size so had to be altered. “With no convenient way to get the pieces tailored, she decided to create a solution – connecting customers to local seamster businesses through an app and bicycle delivery service”.
The projected mass growth of the secondhand fashion market, paired with the knowledge of the fashion industry’s ongoing waste problem, added momentum to the idea.
“We need more circular solutions to minimise the environmental impact of our consumer society,” said Janneke Niessen & Eva de Mol, Founding Partners at CapitalT.
“In the last two decades, we have extracted, processed, and consumed more material resources than ever — and yet we’re recirculating less than 10% of those resources globally. Especially in the fashion industry, the vast majority of processed materials end up in a landfill or waste incineration plant.
"Bridging this gap between what is being done and what needs to be done is not an easy challenge. Exceptional challenges like these need exceptional founders — like Josephine. [She] is a go-getter who combines visionary strategy with powerful execution like no other”.
The company had previously raised $2.7 million since it launched last year, including an angel investment round to the value of $400k,000 in September 2021.
The latest funding comes at a critical stage in Sojo’s evolution as it embarks on expansion plans in all areas of the business.
It has already launched into B2B with a Ganni partnership last autumn that offers free tailoring and repairs to all of its London-based customers. It has plans to expand the service nationwide following the initial pilot stage.
The investment will enable it to scale up its existing team of five and further develop and expand its B2B proposition.
But its B2C business “remains a priority, with the relaunch of the app in March to further streamline the user's experience”. Currently serving London zones 1-2, 2022 will see Sojo further expand both in the capital city and throughout the rest of the UK.
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