Aksel Group Raises $500K Seed Round
Direct-to-consumer fashion company closed a seed round of $500K led by Inspiration Ventures. Also participating were 500Startups, Fabrice Grinda founder of OLX, IG Expansion's Jose Marin, Paul Bragiel of I/O Ventures and French entrepreneur Nicolas Bernadi.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Aksel Group Inc, the holding company behind AkselParis.com, a direct-to-consumer fashion company, today announced it has closed a seed round of $500,000 led by Inspiration Ventures. Also participating in the round were David McClure's 500Startups, serial entrepreneur Fabrice Grinda founder of OLX, IG Expansion's Jose Marin, Paul Bragiel of I/O Ventures and French entrepreneur Nicolas Bernadi.
Aksel Paris is a direct-to-consumer men's fashion company available exclusively online at AkselParis.com. Selling luxury men's clothing under the Aksel brand online, as opposed to department stores, allows Aksel to sell at a significant discount- 30% to 50% cheaper- according CEO Yazid Aksas. "I quickly realized that we could deliver clothes that are better quality than the big brands found at high-end department stores, and we could also make them affordable to the everyday man by cutting out the stores' commissions," says the Stanford MBA graduate. The majority of Aksel products are made in Europe with the finest fabrics available and shipping is always free.
To celebrate its funding, AkselParis.com is offering $50 off on any order over $100, just use the code "500K" at checkout.
The company, which already has several thousand customers, will use the funding to grow its line in different categories; it already produces shirts, socks, footwear, cufflinks and even iPad covers. It is launching a full line of European-made scarves and coats, available in several weeks. Aksel has a strong following amongst the young professionals, in part due to an innovative social media strategy. For example, the company names every shirt after its best customers who then become its strongest brand advocates.
Aksel, located in San Francisco and New York, features a European-influenced brand tailored for the US market. Aksel created a line of original shirts that avoid the traditional dress shirt pitfalls of sagging collars and overall bagginess. They look equally well tucked-in or un-tucked and the stiff collars address the less formal, tie-less culture. "I am still puzzled why most brands ask for your collar size while most of the guys out there don't wear ties anymore. What matters to us is your body type so we can provide you the best fit, and that's why we ask for the customer's height and weight. We have developed an original numeric sizing system that goes from 2 to 6," adds Yazid.
Aksel Paris is positioning itself as a one-stop shop for men, and will soon begin distributing European brands that are not available in the US. "Over the past couple of months we've been approached by many brands, much bigger than us, that have zero presence in the US. In the offline world, those brands would have to go through a lot of pain in order to reach American customers, we are solving that problem. AkselParis.com is going to become your go-to place for men's European fashion at reasonable prices - I am not interested in selling $5,000 coats," says Yazid, a native Frenchman. "We will be distributing around 20 very cool European brands by the end of the year."
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