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London Tech Week

Depop founder backs $2.4M funding round of this female-led clothing alteration app

Image credits: Sojo

London-based sustainable fashion and tech platform Sojo which offers repairs and alteration services through an app, has secured $2.4 million in a pre-seed round. Tech is transforming sustainable fashion tech in many ways, and more funding to this sector is the result. Recently UK-based fashion startups By Rotation and ME+EM also got funded.

The investment round for Sojo was led by CapitalT, also leading seed investors Ascension participated along with Mustard Seed MAZE (MSM) Vertex Albion Capital and 10×10 Angel Syndicate.

Also, angel investors, including Simon Beckerman, founder of Depop, Michelle Kennedy, Founder of Peanut, Yael Gairola, ex-COO of Pangaia, Whitney Hawkings, founder of FLOWERBX, Peter Hawkings, Vice President of Menswear at Tom Ford, Sharmadean Reid MBE, founder of The Stack World, Grace Beverley, founder of TALA participated in the financing round.

Prior to this, Sojo had raised $2.7 million including an angel investment round to the value of $400k in September 2021.

Funds utilisation

The funding comes at a time when Sojo is planning to expand all areas of the business. The company also plans to expand the service nationwide following the initial pilot stage. The proceeds of the round will enable Sojo to scale up the existing team of five and further develop and expand its B2B proposition.

In November 2021, Sojo launched a B2B offering in partnership with cult fashion brand GANNI to offer free tailoring and repairs to all its London-based customers. Moreover, seven new B2B partnerships are coming up in the Q2 of 2022.

Sojo’s direct-to-consumer business remains a priority, with the relaunch of the app in March 2022 to further streamline the user’s experience. While it serves London zones 1-2, Sojo aims to further expand both in the capital city and throughout the rest of the UK this year.

“It has been so incredible to see such a huge shift when it comes to consumer behaviour regarding sustainable fashion – like witnessing the huge rise of re-sale platforms like Depop,” said Josephine Philips, Founder & CEO of Sojo. “We are so excited to continue to drive circularity in the sector in a new way – through the repair and tailoring of our clothes. Having such a brilliant roster of investors onboard to enable us to have true scale and impact. Here’s to a future of clothes that are made to fit and made to last.”

“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. Josephine is a go-getter who combines visionary strategy with powerful execution like no other. We are excited to back the Sojo team as they make fashion circular!”

Circularity in fashion industry

Sojo was founded in 2020 by Josephine Philips after graduating from university. Its mission is to help make the fashion industry more circular by revolutionising the clothing repair and tailoring sector. She decided to create a solution that connects customers to local seamster businesses through an app and bicycle delivery service.

The London-based startup combines the projected mass growth of the second hand fashion market with the fashion industry’s ongoing waste problem. Eventually, it provides sustainable solutions to the industry and promotes more circularity in the fashion industry.

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