Tech fashion startups in Korea are on the rise as more and more brands look to go digital. This article will not focus on online brands as we have a separate article on online Korean fashion startups. The article will focus on tech fashion startups using innovative technology to create new business models in retail and more. Koreans are familiar with purchasing fashion items online without having to go to physical stores. This started even before the pandemic. Recent advancement in technology has changed how Koreans shop and style themselves even more. This is the reason for the growth of tech fashion startups in Korea utilizing new technologies such as Blockchain, AR, AI, and etc.

One of the challenges tech fashion startups in Korea face is funding. There is limited funding for fashion startups in general, as investors in Korea are still skeptical about venturing into this sector. Hopefully, that will change in 2022 as online fashion continues to rise.

Tech Fashion Startups to Watch for in 2022

Womanstalk

Korean Fashion Startup WomanstalkKorean fashion startup Womanstalk is a video commerce platform where influencers can introduce and promote products and gain a share of the sales revenue. It is the top fashion startup in Korea. Womanstalk benefits suppliers, influencers, and customers. Suppliers get marketing resources, influencers make money, and customers get products at the lowest possible price. Womanstalk started in the beauty industry but now has expanded into the fashion/lifestyle industry. They have over 2 million active monthly users and have over 250,000 products currently displayed on their site.

“More than half of online shoppers are already purchasing products using mobile devices and the most powerful and most produced contents on mobile are videos,” said CEO of Womanstalk, Kim Kang-il.

OFOTD

OFOTD is one of the few tech fashion startups in Korea creating digital fashion. They launched a digital dress service for digital fashion. With the advancement of the metaverse, the demand for digital clothing for avatars will grow. In addition, in promoting their service, OFOTD was able to get Lee Hyori, one of the top Kpop celebrities in Korea to wear a digital dress and blazer that they made. Therefore, look for this startup to grow even further thanks to NFTs. Digital clothing can be turned into NFTs and can be resold with transparency and authenticity.

StyleShare

StyleShare

Styleshare is one of the top Tech Fashion Startups in Korea. The platform allows users to learn about the latest popular styles and trends. In addition, users can find out new fashion stories, stylings, and shopping reviews. Furthermore, their feed is updated in real-time and can share your fashion tastes with your friends. The platform can be accessed via mobile and desktop. They have millions of users from over 120 countries. In addition, StyleShare has already been covered by major fashion media like InStyle and VOGUE. It is currently the top mobile fashion app. Therefore, it is becoming Asia’s #1 source for not only fashion but beauty as well.

Think of StyleShare as a social network for fashionistas. Therefore, it is a great platform to share and discover new fashion styles. The best part is that users can purchase clothes through the StyleShare store. Currently, StyleShare has over 5.5 million registered users. Their latest funding round brought in $21 million from Stonebridge Capital, KB Securities, and several other Korean investors, bringing their total to over $46 million.

StyleShare acquires 29cm

In 2018, StyleShare acquired 29cm, which ranks 3rd on our list. They acquired a 100% stake in the company for $28 million. Therefore, both companies are planning to grow together as strategic partners. This is because StyleShare and 29cm have a different customer base.

“The top priority before launching the company was creating a fashion community and now that is what differentiates us from other fashion platforms,” said CEO of StyleShare, Ja-young, Yoon.

DESIGNNOVEL

DesignnovelKorean startup Designovel is a fashion AI startup that uses data to offer various solutions for fashion companies. Their technology allows companies to create innovative designs/logos by providing them with data and AI solutions. They have already made partnerships with traditional and emerging fashion brands in Korea. In addition, Deisgnovel offers comprehensive reports on the fashion industry.

The company was the winner of the POSCO Idea Marketplace Best Startup Award in 2019. They have worked with Hyundai in the past who used their AI system to design a hoodie. They have raised over $2 million in funding to date.

“While production skills were developing, design skills appeared to remain the same in the fashion industry. And as Korea’s fashion industry largely depends on people’s physical labor, there was little room for technology to join. So we thought our skill could contribute to the industry to make a less labor-intensive environment,” said CEO of Designovel, Shin Ki-young.

JONGDAL Lab

Jongdal LabJONGDAL Lab provides an O2O service solution with a database of fashion subsidiary materials. Their service ‘Buja Market’ has AI image search technology, so customers can find and get recommendations on the materials they need with only a picture. Furthermore, they focus on forming a database of the offline-based market Dongdaemun with IT and AI technology. Dongdaemun has 25,000 stores with 2,000,000 fabrics and 240 kinds of subsidiary materials. Their aim is to solve the problems of the offline-based market; complicated supply chain, information gaps, uncomfortable payment, time and expense, etc.

Through Buja Market, customers can search 900,000 domestic fashion subsidiary materials online. The fashion subsidiary materials market is based on an offline market with a closed distribution environment. Many designers and companies have to spend a lot of time and expense to get information about materials and purchases. Therefore, JONGDAL Lab has constructed a database of online and offline fashion subsidiary materials and provides a service that can search and purchase materials online easily. Now, customers can save time and expense through their service.

YesNow

YesNow Korea
YesNow is a fashion tech startup in Korea that provides recommended personal fit based on body and clothing information using AI technology. Their service has been actively introduced to many fashion companies only after 6 months of release. Their focus for 2022 will be to build a big data platform that can connect data and optimize decisions on top of improving business performance.

The main product from YesNow is their AI-based fit advisor called Fit Finder. Fit Finder makes fit recommendations for each part of the clothing. Therefore it ensures an unbeatably accurate sized prediction based on their patented in-house technology to minimize frustration among customers due to the wrong size and to boost CVR.

OMNIOUS

OMNIOUSKorean Fashion startup OMNIOUS develops fashion image recognition solutions using AI technology. They are able to recognize tags as well as product features such as color, materials, shapes, and print details. Their AI is called Omnious Tagger and it helps companies manage and analyze catalogs with tag data. Therefore, fashion startups can offer their online/mobile users a user-friendly search function and a personalized recommendation feature. OMINOUS Tagger offers an accuracy rate of 95% which is 20% better than global competitors. In addition, they have raised $1 million to date from Korea Investment Partners, Mashup Angels, and Big Basin Capital.