The Iconic picks up AU$28m in latest funding round

Just 18 months in, Aussie startup The Iconic has been able to rack up AU$78 million in funding from investors.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Australian online fashion retailer and startup The Iconic has picked up an additional AU$28 million, lifting its total financing from investors to over AU$78 million.

Previously, the startup attracted AU$50 million from investors such as JP Morgan and Rocket Internet. The latest round of AU$28 million from Belgian investment holding firm Verlinvest represents what the the company believes is the largest-ever investment into an Australian e-commerce venture.

The funding contrasts with local Australian funding efforts, as highlighted by Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie, who previously told ZDNet that Australia's venture capital industry only managed to raise AU$40 million for startups in 2012.

Verlinvest chairman and founder Frédéric de Mevius said in a statement that it had been working towards its investment in The Iconic for several months, and praised the company on its recent progress.

"The Iconic management team has done an exceptional job of growing the company during the past year, and we are happy to be investing in this great success story," he said.

The funding will be used to further expand the startup's range of brands, build out its website, and improve its shipping and customer service, according to The Iconic co-founder and managing director Adam Jacobs.

"As a business, we are focused on positioning ourselves for the future, and are delivering on our goals for long-term sustainable growth. We believe in the fast-growing Australian e-commerce industry and want to provide Australians with the best online fashion shop they can imagine," Jacobs said.

Despite its online outlet receiving over 4 million visitors each month, and the company believing that it has stolen the title for number one Australian fashion website over the past 18 months, not all has been smooth sailing for the company.

Financial statements and internal emails obtained by Fairfax led the media outlet to criticise The Iconic's business model, revealing that although the company turned over AU$30.6 million between August 2011 and December 2012, it made a loss of over AU$44.7 million.

However, it isn't unusual for startups to run at a loss during their first few years of operations as the business builds out its brand and expands its team — the very process that The Iconic appears to be going through with its newest round of funding.

Editorial standards