Ahead of the DeFINE and CAST Investor Training Workshop taking place on Wednesday 23rd October, 2019 at the EBN Congress, Italy we spoke with Media Deals CEO and DeFINE consortium partner, Thierry Baujard about financing in Fashion-Tech sector.
With over 20 years’ experience in financing and investment, Thierry shares with us his experience of the industry and explains the reality of investing in the creative industries. He also provides tips on what start-ups and SMEs should be thinking about before getting investment and advice to financiers looking into the fashion-tech sector.
I have been involved in the financing of the Creative Industries for the last twenty years with a strong focus on the audiovisual sector. Ten years ago, I created Media Deals which is a pan European Investment network focusing on financing and investing in the Creative Industries.
The network is now strong of eighty private financiers from Europe and segmented around four main investment verticals:
- Video Games
The network is focusing on pre seed/seed investment with a sweet Spot of €500K, encouraging co-financing and cross border investment. Our work at Media Deals is to mobilize investors for the sector and get start-ups ready for smart money.
Start-ups and SMEs trying to raise finance.
For start-ups trying to raise money, it is important to think carefully about the investment strategy and understand very well the business model of investors. What are they looking for and can you provide them with what they are looking for e.g. scalability, speed of implementation, ambition and exit potential. This is not for every creative start up!
Financiers and the emerging space of fashion-tech businesses.
Each investor has a different profile and look for his/her own return that can vary a lot between the type of investor, the phase of investment and geography. Make sure you research well your investment targets before taking to them!
The Fashion-Tech is indeed a sector with strong potential, especially for investors. The sector definition is very broad, so it offers enough interests for all kinds of investors:
- Industry-oriented investors looking at simplifying a production chain
- Wearable innovations
- E-retail projects based on immaterial assets, branding and communication tools and many more
The potential for investment is huge as it is both B2B and B2C with a strong appeal to the young generations.
At the same time, it appears that most investors look at the Fashion-Tech sector with an opportunistic approach. Very few investors are specialising in the sector and it is more like a trial and error strategy.
Finding the right investor for your start-up is therefore quite difficult, it can come from anywhere and with people with little or non-expertise in the sector. Surely, with some tech background but limited in terms of fashion.
Investing in the Creative Industries in general is risky. Nevertheless, if the potential revenues are presented, the return potential could be huge addressing large and global target markets.
Innovation is at the center of this sector. It is changing dramatically to respond to the new generations’ expectations in terms of sustainability, connectivity and style.
Attending the DeFINE and CAST Investor Training Workshops.
For financiers willing to better understand the sector, joining our investor’s session at the DeFINE and CAST Investor Training Workshop could be a good way to network with sector experts but also investors with expertise and experience in the industry. This is also a good way to start co investment projects.