Singapore-based fashion startup Zilingo raises USD226 million in Series D round

Singapore-based online fashion marketplace Zilingo has raised USD226 million (SGD306.69 million) in its latest series D round financing. The company will utilise the fund to make expansion in the markets of Phillippines, Indonesia and Australia.

Many investors participated in the series D financing including Temasek Holdings, Sequoia Capital, EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore's Economic Development Board, Burda Principal Investments and Sofina.

Zilingo co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose. Photo courtesy: Linkedin profile of Ankiti Bose
Zilingo co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose. Photo courtesy: Linkedin profile of Ankiti Bose

The start-up is valued at USD970 million (SGD1.31 billion), according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the information is private.

Ankiti Bose (27) is the chief executive officer of Zilingo. She has become the youngest female chief executive to lead a startup of this size in Asia.

Female founders remain rare in the global start-up world. Of the 239 venture capital-backed start-ups around the world worth at least USD1 billion only 23 have a female founder, according to data from Pitchbook in May last year.

Zilingo was founded by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor in 2015. It started as a fashion and lifestyle marketplace to help small merchants build scale. It developed software and other tools allowing vendors to access factories from Bangladesh to Indonesia and also helped with cross-border shipping and inventory management.

Listings are provided for free with the company charging a commission of between 10 per cent and 20 per cent on orders, helping drive a fourfold increase in revenue in the past 12 months.

Shailendra Singh, managing director of Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore, which has backed Zilingo, said, “Ankiti and team have rapidly transformed their original ideas about Zilingo into a platform company that serves fashion consumers, merchants, retailers, brands and manufacturers.”

Bose was previously working at Sequoia and McKinsey & Co. in India. She came up with the idea of setting up a startup after a visit to Bangkok’s popular Chatuchak market, which features more than 15,000 booths selling goods from across Thailand.

Zilingo currently has offices in eight countries with more than 400 employees, including about 80 engineers in Bengaluru, India.