The pair have just closed a deal worthR4 million in second-round funding, not bad going in the depths of a financialrecession. Not bad going for any start-up actually, no matter what the economicclimate.
Eyal and Edelstein co-founded FashionEvolution, the holding company of Springleap, and invested their own funds asstart-up capital. Around seven months ago, the business caught the attention ofYDE founder Paul Simon, who invested a first round of funding along withintellectual capital. The start-up’s latest investment comes from Lord DuncanBarratt, MD of Agri-Best, for a 10% equity stake in Fashion Evolution. Theinvestment will allow Fashion Evolution to further develop, improve andultimately commercialise its web platform. “Essentially, we’ve usedSpringleap.com as a testing ground for our crowd-sourcing, social networkingand e-commerce software,” Eyal explains. Springleap.com is an interactivewebsite that has created an online community of people who love great designsand great t-shirts. Aspiring designers submit their t-shirt designs online andthe community votes for their favourite one, which is then printed as a limitedrun. These are sold online, a model that has allowed Springleap to be monetisedfrom day one.Having perfected the model through Springleap, the company is nowready to take it to market. Edelstein explains how large commercialorganisations might
“Imagine a big brewing company wantingto create a new name for a beer. Using our web-based platform it can have afully functioning 100% crowd-sourcing, social network website within a coupleof weeks, and with our unique methodology it can also have a community ofpeople wanting to get involved. People who think creatively will conceptualisenew names and the general community will interact with the brand on multiplelevels, voting for the various beer names and commenting on and discussingideas about the brand.” It’s a compelling proposition and onein which Barrett saw immense possibility. “The business model shows incrediblepotential to quickly become another success story along the lines of Facebook,Twitter and Ning. “I was amazed at the innovation andpotential represented by the platform that the founders are creating. Theopportunity to invest in cutting-edge technology and development with such areputable team was an easy decision,” he said.