Female-founded Queenly is using their ML-driven search engine and computer vision technology to reimagine the $15B formalwear industry.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES, July 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Queenly, the leading marketplace and search engine for the formalwear industry, announced today that it raised $6.3 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing their total funding to date to $7.1 million.
By leveraging a proprietary ML-driven search engine and computer vision technology, Queenly is tackling the large, underserved formalwear market–a market that has survived decades, even the recent pandemic, with little to no disruption from Silicon Valley. The formal wear market in North America is currently a $15B industry according to available industry research, with substantial additional value being created and exchanged offline. In the US, ”prom season” alone gives way to a a $4B industry every year, followed by events such as weddings, pageants, homecomings, winter formals, festivals, galas, holiday parties, weddings, recitals, religious and cultural celebrations, military balls, dance competitions, and so on.
By combining a personalized, resale marketplace experience with small-business sales and data analytic tools, Queenly has been able to provide the industry’s first comprehensive search engine for the formalwear industry. With a clear founder market fit, cofounders Trisha Bantigue and Kathy Zhou have combined their personal and professional domain expertise to build Queenly. Both founders have competed in multiple national & international pageant systems–with Bantigue also a former fashion model for formalwear designers. Zhou is a full-stack senior engineer and previously spent 4 years building search and recommendation features at Pinterest; Bantigue worked at Uber and Facebook in executive recruiting.
“For decades, women have had to spend hours driving to different small shops in hopes of finding that dream dress. That perfect dress could be in a dress boutique across the country, or in someone’s closet. We’re not only able to combine all this inventory onto one central platform, but also build machine learning models and recommendations systems to provide tailored shopping experiences to each unique user,” said Zhou.
“There are so many challenges with formal industry—plus size body inclusivity, skin tone matching, height and body measurement matching, fabric detection—that are now solvable through our data-driven business model, “ she continued.
Queenly categorizes dresses through their computer vision and machine learning system, built in-house by Zhou, who also engineered and launched the company’s iOS, Android, and website. Today, users are then able to search by color shades, necklines, hemlines, fabrics, and body measurements. The company has proven its resilience coming out of the pandemic as it has grown to over 125,000 users, 60,000+ unique dresses listed on their platform, and a total inventory value of $15 million.
The recent funding from the leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) will help the company grow their team to keep up with the demand in the industry in a post-COVID era, as well as efficiently scale out their operations and engineering features. The team plans to aggressively innovate and bring all categories of the formalwear inventory online. Connie Chan, general partner at Andreeseen Horowitz led the round for the firm.
“Having attended dozens of formal events throughout my life, I’ve experienced firsthand how unique but underserved the formalwear market is by technology—fit is less important (people rely on alterations), uniqueness matters (a lot), the discovery process is fragmented, one or two-day rentals aren’t often a solution, and there is a strong desire to "unload" items at the end,” said Connie Chan. “The marketplace platform Kathy and Trisha are building takes all of these factors and more into consideration to deliver customers a seamless, customized experience.”
“We’re thrilled to now have Andreeseen Horowitz alongside us on our exciting journey,” says Queenly co-founder Trisha Bantigue. “This a huge milestone for a female-founded tech startup and we look forward to continuing to grow Queenly to be bigger and better and to empower more women to follow their dreams.”
To date, Queenly has raised $7.1 million in funding with investors that include Y Combinator, The House Fund, Interlace Ventures, Dragon Capital, NextView Ventures, MyAsiaVC and Shakti Venture Capital. Queenly also has A-list angel investors such as the former CTO of Uber, Thuan Pham, CPO of Uber, Manik Gupta, CEO of Lambda School, Austen Allred, CEO & cofounder of Mercari, Ryo Ishizuka, CEO of FitBit, James Park, CMO & cofounder of ScentBird, Rachel ten Brink, and the cofounders of Caviar, Jason Wang, Shawn Tsao, and Andy Zhang.
Queenly is the leading marketplace and search engine for the formalwear industry. Whether it’s for prom, quinceanera, or a wedding, they help women of all ages and all sizes find the exact dress they’re looking for.
Founded in 2019, Queenly is the best place to find the exact dress for prom, a wedding, or other special occasions.
Queenly finds a home in a diverse and inclusive community of queens trying to push the boundaries of what it means to feel beautiful and confident in the modern age—that such traits can come in all shapes and sizes, and that together, we can embrace these beliefs wholeheartedly.
Through their domain expertise in fashion and engineering, they have built a robust search and recommendations engine to find the perfect dress by color, style, hemline, neckline, and body type.
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Source: EIN Presswire