DR Corporation, a Seoul, South Korea-based B2B offline business and online platform developer for fabric producers and sellers, is mulling a Series B fundraise next year to scale up its marketing and R&D efforts, CEO Alex Chung said.
The company welcomes approaches from domestic and overseas investors, both financial and strategic, Chung said.
Ideal strategic investors could be owners of fashion brands and manufacturers of these brands that generate sales of at least USD 2m, Chung noted. Chung said that he is the largest shareholder of the company while the rest is owned by South Korean financial investors including Fast Investment, Murex Partners, and Schmidt, as well as California-based Big Basin Capital.
The Series B could be approximately three to four times larger than funds raised from its Series A, he said.
The company, founded in 2015, raised about KRW 2bn in its Series A in January 2019, Chung said. Proceeds from the Series A went towards securing its fabric sourcing partners in South Korea and overseas, as well as hiring.
The Series B funding will be used to increase the number of partners through marketing and R&D, Chung said, adding the company plans to fortify its fabric buyers/clients’ partnerships and monitor how the partnership works in 2020. It will also look to accelerate its business in 2021. There are about 15,000 to 20,000 fashion-related corporations including OEM (original equipment manufacturer) companies in South Korea.
For its B2B partnerships, DR Corporation has partners that manufacture fabrics and partners that buy the fabrics via its online platform KIWI, he said. The KIWI platform connects fabric manufacturers to global fabric buyers, he added.
It took around a year to secure about 10,000 partners in Dongdaemun Fabric Market in South Korea, and from overseas markets such as China, the UK, Japan, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The Dongdaemun Fabric Market is the largest domestic traditional market for fabric wholesalers. In addition, DR Corporation has contracted about 100 buying partners since last year from South Korea, China, the US, and Japan. The company has about 20,000 KIWI application users among B2B and B2C partners, Chung noted. It will focus on growing the B2B business but continue with the B2C business, Chung said.
DR Corporation hit break-even in mid-2019 and currently generates sales, Chung said, without disclosing financial figures.
The South Korean fashion clothing fabric market is currently estimated at KRW 20tn while the global fashion clothing fabric market is estimated at KRW 700tn (USD 590bn), Chung said.
by SooYoung Park