Lesaras fexible and short lead-times are a competitive advantage

Lesara's fexible and short lead-times are a competitive advantage

Berlin-based online fast fashion retailer Lesara – which works to lead times as fast as ten days – has secured US$40m in funding, led by new and existing investors in the US and UK, to accelerate its expansion.

The funds, which bring the total amount so far raised by the company to $60m, will be used to boost the retailer's expansion into Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Belgium and the UK.

Founded in 2013, Lesara is an international online store, offering fashion and lifestyle products and a so-called "new kind of shopping experience" with themed events and discounts of up to 80% every day, thanks to direct cooperation with manufacturers. Meanwhile, the company's Best Price Guarantee means customers are immediately informed about the lowest price on an item, and should shoppers find a provider that offers the same article for less, it will refund the difference. 

In addition, Lesara refers to itself a "pioneer in agile retail," which it describes as "a smarter, leaner, faster, data-driven version of fast fashion." It claims to have successfully improved the model used offline by fast fashion companies such as Zara and H&M, analysing external and internal data to determine what products will sell, thanks to the development of a special trend analysis tool that identifies trends as soon as they surface.

As a result, the vertically integrated merchant says it needs as little as ten days to spot a trend, have it designed, produced, advertised in the online store, and made available to an international audience; upending the traditional fashion methodology of designing in bulk without consumer demand.

"The entire Lesara team puts in a vast amount of effort every day to grow our expansion and to continuously improve the shopping experience for our customers," says CEO and founder Roman Kirsch. "The ongoing support and confidence from our existing investors as well as new ones is a confirmation for us, that they believe in our vision and potential just as much as we do and is, therefore, both reward and incentive to keep on going because there is still a lot we want to achieve. We have only started to see the big disruption coming from agile retail and digitalisation of commerce."

In 2016, Lesara saw a 175% increase in revenue with over 1.5m active customer base across Europe. The company's current inventory is comprised of 100,000 fashion and lifestyle goods and its adds 2,000 styles every week – the equivalent of a seasonal collection for some of its offline competitors, it says.