Farfetch names first start-ups for Dream Assembly

Luxury online retailer Farfetch has announced that 11 start-ups working with technologies including virtual reality and artificial intelligence will join its technology accelerator Dream Assembly.

Launched in April to provide mentorship, knowledge, networking opportunities and early-stage funding to start-ups, the Dream Assembly will offer all the chosen businesses a 12-week programme of workshops, one-to-one sessions with Farfetch senior leaders, and mentorship meetings covering topics including e-commerce, marketing, technology, fashion, logistics and operations.

In addition, the start-ups who were all chosen for their work exploring ways of applying technology to revolutionise the future of commerce, will also have direct access to Farfetch’s expertise in the luxury fashion and technology industries, as well as networking opportunities to “relevant contacts” within the fashion industry, like partner Burberry, who will offer knowledge and resources to the start-ups.

The Dream Assembly will welcome the first cohort of start-ups in Lisbon on September 7. In addition to sessions in Lisbon and Porto, Seed Accelerator 500 Startups will be hosting a one-week growth bootcamp in San Francisco, and the programme will include a demo day in London, where companies will have the chance to pitch their projects to a selected pool of external investors for follow-on funding.

Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer of Farfetch, said in a press release: “We were delighted by the response from so many incredible companies. The companies we have selected for the first Dream Assembly cohort all have great potential to present innovative solutions and are capable of shaping the future of commerce.”

11 start-ups join Farfetch’s technology accelerator Dream Assembly

The 11 start-ups come from the UK, Canada, Turkey, Hong Kong, France, Portugal, the US, Nigeria, and the Netherlands, and they are working on technology including an app for shoes, a real-time inventory device and analytics software for luxury brands.

The only UK start-up is The Restory, a technology-powered luxury restoration brand using proprietary technology and data to engage directly and deeply with customers, while two start-ups are from the US will be welcomed to the programme, including Wishi, which aims to connect people with online personal stylists, and Villageluxe adopts the same ethos as Airbnb by promoting the sharing economy revolution with peer to peer and sustainable luxury fashion.

The other start-ups includes Canadian Ftsy ‘footsy’, an app that makes shopping for shoes online easy and fun by using AI and a smartphone to scans a user’s feet to curate a personalised footwear collection, while Buy Buddy from Turkey has created a smart shopping device that provides real-time inventory, and Hong Kong-based Upteam is a data driven B2B pre-owned luxury bag and accessory curator, supplying authentic items to both online and offline shops across 30 different countries.

French Shopvious aims at giving luxury brands access to the most reliable and actionable analytics through a new ground-breaking data source, and then there is Fashpa from Nigeria, a global marketplace for African fashion and design, while Auverture from the Netherlands is a designer fine jewellery destination.

The accelerator also has two start-ups from Portugal, Didimo, which is a leading creator of high-fidelity digital humans, and Reckon.ai, which uses computer vision to collect relevant information from websites, catalogues and social media to create a platform where retailers could easily monitor their competition.

Cipriano Sousa, chief technology officer of Farfetch, added: “It is a pleasure to be able to give back to start-ups and the fashion technology ecosystem, sharing knowledge and expertise, and helping promising companies to scale to the next level”.

The first Dream Assembly start-ups will join the accelerator in Portugal on September 7.

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Image: courtesy of Farfetch