Protinus Fashion Networking, which owns and operates designer network and fashion retail platform 6Degree, said it has raised Rs 2.5 crore ($340,425) in a fresh funding round.
The fund infusion by the Delhi and Bengaluru chapters of early-stage investor network Keiretsu Forum is part of what the company calls an “extended pre-Series A round”.
The fresh funds will be deployed to ramp up the startup's operations and technology capabilities, a statement said.
With this round of funding, 6Degree will be able to move faster to help local designer talent become strong national or global brands, Nikhil Hegde, co-founder and CEO of 6Degree, said.
“Keiretsu Forum brings an array of business growth expertise and key access to fashion retail segments, which will allow us to scale our technology solutions and bridge the gap between 7,00,000-plus homegrown designers and single/multi-brand stores across the country,” he said.
Founded by Hegde and Amit Bhardwaj in 2015, 6Degree provides a unified platform for fashion designers, influencers, brands, models and photographers. It helps fashion designers source projects, offers fashion retail firms management tools to market, provides Indian designers access to global customers and enables brands to discover fashion service providers.
It has built partnerships with over 100 multi-brand stores and fashion platforms such as Lakme Fashion Week and Fashion Design Council of India Fashion Week. It claims to have 15,000 industry professionals and over 4,000 designers on its platform.
The company said it has raised a total of Rs 7 crore so far. Earlier this year, it received an undisclosed amount from angel investment network SucSeed Ventures. It has also been backed by the Indian Angel Network, Angel Bay and Keiretsu Forum in previous rounds.
“Affordable designer wear is a segment that will see phenomenal growth as India’s middle class moves up the value chain and our investors see value in being a part of 6Degree’s journey to tap into that market,” Denny Kurien, president for the Bengaluru and Delhi NCR chapters of investor Keiretsu Forum, said.
Keiretsu Forum, with over 250 members in India, is a global network of individual investors, funds, corporate entities and family offices who fund early-stage companies. It operates 56 chapters across more than 20 countries in four continents.