London-based Connect Ventures, who are perhaps best known for being an early backer of Citymapper, led the round, with participation from Frederic Court’s new fund Felix Capital, Playfair Capital, and Ballpark Ventures.
Founded in April 2013 by Ben Alun-Jones, Kirsty Emery and Hal Watts, who all met at London’s Royal College of Art, the company’s technology essentially turns industrial knitting machines into something more akin to 3D printers, unlocking the ability to ‘print’ knitwear on-demand.
“Knitwear is the most complex type of garment to be manufactured,” explains co-founder Hal Watt, and is invariably made using industrial knitting machines that are “insanely hard to program and require expert programming skills,” creating a huge bottleneck to the industry.
“We’ve removed the expert programmer role and turn these machines into something approaching a 3D printer for clothes,” he says.
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