The entrepreneur and business innovator, Adrian Cheng has made a significant investment in Moda Operandi – the only online luxury fashion retailer to provide consumers access to collections straight from the runway.
The injection of capital is led by Cheng through his two investment vehicles, K11 Investment and C Ventures. The latter is a new investment fund launched in October 2017 to build a global ecosystem of Millennial and Generation Z-focused brands and platforms.
The investment in Moda Operandi plays into Cheng’s wider vision to unite culture-orientated brands into a powerful portfolio that connects the worlds of fashion, art, and creative media, to service the demands of next-generation consumers.
Cheng’s investment comes at a time when the Chinese consumer market is transforming. The emergence of the BAT Generation (the millennial and Gen Z generations shaped by the three Chinese Internet and E-commerce giants, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) has created a digitally-savvy and highly-connected group of young consumers who are in process of forging new patterns of consumption.
The rising demand for bespoke luxury items and personalised experiences is one such shift, with millennial consumers accounting for 45% of luxury spending by 2025, according to a report by Bain & Co.
Moda Operandi caught Cheng’s attention, because its unique business model underscores this shift in consumer behaviour and its associated appetite for luxury. The company hosts online trunk shows and is the only online retailer that enables customers to pre-order straight from the runway, months before anywhere else.
The site also offers access to a wider collection of designer pieces that are not available in traditional luxury retail stores or other in-season E-commerce platforms. Not only will the addition of Moda Operandi strengthen C Ventures’ portfolio, but it will also allow for cross-platform collaboration opportunities within the C Ventures’ ecosystem with Cheng’s other business interests, including K11, a pioneering multi-faceted brand with social responsibility at its core.
Cheng, with his co-founder of C Ventures, Clive Ng recognise the appeal and potential of companies like Moda Operandi in the evolving global market.
In China, there is significant appetite among the large BAT Generation for fresh and unique fashion pieces as a means of self expression – a demand Moda Operandi can meet quickly. BATers now are close to half of China’s population –427 million Millennials and 235 million Gen Zs larger than the size of the working population of the US and Western Europe combined –146 million and 353 million, respectively. .
Further, by 2030 China is set to overtake the U.S. as the nmber one global economy with a projected growth-rate between 2020 and 2030 of 4.2-7% compared to 1.5-3% in the U.S.
While this reservoir of young Chinese consumers exists, it has proven notoriously difficult to access. Many western companies and platforms have struggled to gain a foothold in the Chinese market. In order to break into this challenging market, it is crucial for brands to form strategic local partnerships. Moda Operandi will be able to tap into Cheng’s extensive knowledge of the global market, as well as his operational and strategic support in Asia to grow its digital footprint, scale and value.
The new round of funding provided by C Ventures and K11 Investment (both owned by Cheng), together with Apax Digital, will help fuel Moda Operandi’s global expansion and allow for further acceleration of its international business with a focus on the Asian and Middle Eastern markets.
C Ventures is primarily focused on connecting Western brands to the global market, with its wider portfolio strategically comprising technology-driven brands and platforms which play to the interests of millennials and Generation Z (including fashion, art, creative media and culture).
A significant number of companies in C Ventures’ launch portfolio are next-generation media entities, including Dazed Media; the entertainment company SkyBound; and teen-focused social media platform, Galore.
Adrian Cheng, Co-Founder of C Ventures commented: “I am hugely excited about Moda Operandi as an investment prospect. Its business model is cutting edge, with a curated customer experience that has a lot of potential. Moda Operandi also adds depth to C Ventures’ network of brands, which collides the worlds of fashion, creative media and art to service millennial consumer interests in the global market. I’m looking forward to seeing how the brand grows and taps into this big business opportunity.”