LOS ANGELES – A tech businesses which provides on-demand production to apparel businesses has raised US$11m in funding. The/Studio offers users, regardless of size, the ability to create products through custom manufacturing. Customers manage the process from custom design to production using advanced technology and a network of vetted factories worldwide. In theory, such a concept could help eliminate waste in the production process, with production only being activated once orders have been placed. Latest investors include FJ Labs, VTF, WTI, Firebolt Ventures, and Interplay Ventures. Preeti Rathi from Ignition Partners, Chris Hicken and Greg McCurley will join the board.
“The/Studio is the first solution for quick cloud-based access to custom manufactured products without having to deal with the costs and risks of building out a supply chain,” The/Studio founder and CEO Joseph Heller told Apparel Insider. “Manufacturing a product is still extremely complicated, and traditional supply chain teams were not set up to support the quick turnaround times and small-batch requirements of modern retail. Big box retail is being replaced with pop-up stores, limited edition e-commerce offerings, and millions of new brands. There is now an incessant race to get products to market quicker, to pinpoint customer demand with data and to be nimble enough to scale accordingly.”
The/Studio currently has over 100,000 customers on its platform; from large corporations such as Nike, Live Nation, and Urban Outfitters, to smaller outfits including The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store, and The Mountain. It also supports emerging brands. The platform claims it has already facilitated the design and production of over 32 million products including apparel, accessories and promotional items.
The/Studio is starting off by focusing on the fashion manufacturing industry, which Heller notes is a trillion dollar global industry
“Of all the problems that remain unsolved within fashion supply chain, digital transformation is one of the most complicated and consequential,” said Preeti Rathi, partner at Ignition Partners. “The/Studio has an unparalleled technology platform that simplifies supply chain and offers agility and nimbleness – something that is a must-have for brands in today’s age of social media. We’re thrilled to support Joseph and partner with the The/Studio team.”