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Fast fashion e-commerce player Shein raises $1B at $100B valuation, becomes third most valuable startup in the world

Shein
Image credits: Shein

Shein, a Nanjing-based fast fashion e-commerce platform has reportedly raised $1B to $2B in funding at a valuation of $100B, making the Chinese apparel seller one of the world’s most valuable private companies. Reportedly, leading investors including General Atlantic, Tiger Global, IDG, and Sequoia backed the round. 

According to data provider CB Insights, at a $100B valuation, Shein has become the third most valuable startup globally, after ByteDance Ltd. and SpaceX.

Second most downloaded shopping app

Founded by Xiaoqing Ren, Yang Pei, and Yangtian Xu in 2012, Shein is an online retailer with operations in Guangzhou, Singapore, Los Angeles, and other key markets. The company offers more than 600,000 items to customers in over 150 countries. The company aims to help people express their individuality through the latest trends that are accessible and affordable.

Recently, the company has witnessed tremendous growth, particularly in 2021. According to app analytics firm Apptopia, Shein was the second most downloaded shopping app in the US after Amazon. 

Since its inception, the company has mastered the data-driven, supplier-supported formula to success, reports Techcrunch. Products such as $10 dresses and $5 tops help draw huge visitors to its website each month. The company has made around $15.7B in revenue last year.

Challenges

However, Shein has its challenges too! The Chinese company is aggressively expanding its Singapore office after making a Singapore firm its de facto holding company, reports Reuter. 

In fact, Shein de-registered its main business last year according to Nanjing Top Plus Information Technology Co Ltd, a Chinese corporate filing. Other sources are reporting that Shein is reviving its plans to list its company in New York this year 

“A New York IPO for Shein, if finalised, would likely be the first major equity deal by a Chinese company in the United States since China’s regulators began tightening oversight of such listings last July,” says Reuter. 

Reuter also reported that Xu is seeking Singapore citizenship to bypass China’s tightening grip over offshore listings. 

In Singapore, the company aims to quadruple the number of its Singapore employees to around 200 by the year’s end. It is currently advertising for government relations associates as well as for staff for human resources, marketing, and IT, adds Reuter. 

SHEIN X

In February, SHEIN celebrated the first anniversary of its fashion incubator, SHEIN X. The program aims to discover and empower indie designers by showcasing their talent to millions of SHEIN fans worldwide.

Since launching in early 2021, SHEIN X has partnered with 1,442 designers and artists from over 20 countries. SHEIN expects the number to grow to over 3,000 this year.

Notable designers featured over the past year include The SHEIN X 100K Challenge winner Sasha Ruddock, Voter’s Choice Awardee Armand Mehidri, and design-duo Roberta Chang and Xinyi Xhao.

Freak City LA’s founder, Valerie Campbell, whose hip hop and street style-inspired designs have appeared on A-list celebs, had the most popular SHEIN item in 2021 with 11,505 pieces sold

While SHEIN helps with production and sales, each designer retains ownership of their designs and receives a percentage of the profit. The SHEIN X program has paid over $1.5M to designers and artists throughout its inaugural year.

SHEIN X empowers emerging fashion designers and artists by providing the opportunity to partner with SHEIN and take their designs and brands to new heights. 

SHEIN provides these creatives with tools, marketing, manufacturing, and operational and financial support, so they can focus on what they love, creating fashion and art, while SHEIN helps them turn their designs into a business.

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