Amsterdam-based fashion-tech startup Lalaland has raised €2.1 million in a new pre-Series-A financing round led by Orange Wings, Unknown Group, and angel investors. Lalaland utilizes artificial intelligence to enable fashion brands and retailers to use hyper-realistic models of every body type, size, and skin tone. With these body-inclusive avatars, the company aims to create a more inclusive, personal, and sustainable shopping experience for fashion brands, retailers, and customers.
The world of fashion e-commerce is worth $408 billion (approx. €380 billion) and is ever-expanding, with 7.5% of annual revenue being spent on photography, production, and models for product pages. Founded by Michael Musandu and Ugnius Rimša in 2019, Lalaland taps into that market with a cost-effective model-generating tool that replaces time-consuming and costly photoshoots. With their self-service platform, anyone can recreate high-quality photoshoots with great ease. Further, models can be tailored to customer profiles or customized to specific body types, allowing for hyper-personalization. This helps boost sales, reduce return rates and costs, increase conversion, and cut waste, and contributes to a more inclusive shopping and brand experience.
Wings to fly: New funding for an inclusive and sustainable fashion industry
In their latest pre-Series-A financing round, Lalaland secured a total of €2.1 million to facilitate the next stage of their growth. The investment is backed by Orange Wings, Unknown Group, and angel investors, including former Nike General Manager Bart de Wilde, Google’s Amhar Ford and Thorsten Koch, and Christina Caljé from Autheos. The company will continue its commercial expansion and attract a diverse group of talent. “Our product is centered around solving the issues of consumers who feel underrepresented in terms of ethnicity, gender identity, and body representation. So we want to work with people who can relate to these issues, in order to facilitate positive change in co-creation,” says founder and CEO Michael Musandu.
Orange Wings founder and CEO Shawn Harris was instantly inspired after seeing Lalaland’s pitch as a Dragon on Viaplay’s Dragons’ Den: “This is a unique opportunity to help retailers and brands truly create positive change in the fashion industry and to reduce returns and ultimately waste.” Angel investor Bart de Wilde also underscored the company’s urgency: “I have been at the heart of this problem in sports, footwear, and apparel, so I can't stress enough how valuable this will be for our industry.” Unknown CEO Hendrik Halbe resonated with the company’s calling, and said: “Now is the right time for Lalaland to take the industry by storm, and with this investment, we’re excited to support their international expansion.”
Lalaland: Where fashion, tech, diversity, and sustainability meet
Creating technology that drives inclusivity and diversity within digital fashion is at the core of Lalaland’s DNA. The company’s philosophy is built on two pillars—social empowerment and sustainable impact. They have on-boarded some of the largest fashion retailers, such as Zalando, Wehkamp, and Otto. Lalaland has also won several awards, including the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, was selected by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce as one of the most innovative companies of 2021, and received a $320,000 (approx. €298,000) investment from Google’s Black Founders Fund.