Have you experienced the consequences of ill-fitting lingerie? They not only cause back and shoulder pain, but also lead to skin abrasions caused by constant rubbing. Research has shown that a lack of breast support often leads to breast pain, which is reported by 50% of women.
Clovia, an Indian startup, is a premium lingerie and loungewear brand which was launched with a vision to provide every Indian woman with lingerie that fits her right. It is redefining the Indian lingerie market and helps customers choose beyond standard cuts with customized shapes, cuts and colors. It designs, manufactures, and sells fashion lingerie, innerwear, nightwear and shapewear.
Clovia was launched by husband-wife duo Pankaj Vermani and Neha Kant, along with designer Suman Chowdhury in 2015.
The venture has witnessed 100% growth in FY2021 compared to FY2020 with 85% sales coming from online channels. The startup made some temporary pivots during the lockdown like manufacturing PPEs and masks to keep the manufacturing units alive and to help their partners. There were three major factors that led to their bounceback:
- They started seeing the product development through the lens of Covid. They saw the rising trend of work from home and started focusing a lot on sleepwear and loungewear. This helped them gain market leadership in their category.
- Their customers were coming back for their core category, too, and online was driving the bulk of sales.
- The lingerie and loungewear category has been a very unorganized one. The onset of Covid led to awareness in using branded stuff, and even towns in Tier 2 and Tier 3 contributed to their sales, with 60% of the sales coming from these categories currently.
According to the Founder and CEO Pankaj Vermani, sleepwear and loungewear is the hands down winner with 6X growth comparing pre-covid and post-covid times. Maternity and feeding products saw a 300% growth. Activewear is a recent phenomenon and that, too, saw about 300% growth. The startup is just building on this category now.
The company is able to manage their inventory at a low operational cost. Their core category, bras, is the most complex category in the apparel space, and India is a diversely distributed country with different demands from each region. Clovia is operating on the core fundamental of letting the customer decide what they want. Their clutch of designers go through the demand forecasting and build the product out. Once the first batch of product is delivered, there is an AI algorithm which they fondly call the Monk (sixth sense). The Monk starts to do the forecast for the startup with almost 75 parameters in place. This has helped the company reach the best ROI in terms of inventory.
Clovia recently launched Bra-Bot, an online AI-based chatbot, for understanding customers’ needs and guide them to the correct product using Clovia’s proprietary tool CloviaCurve ™Fit Test.
Clovia has currently 2 million customers and counting. It currently ships 750,000 units per month and has a presence of 300+ stores spread across 50 locations.
Clovia recently raised $4 Million in the pre-series C round of funding led by a clutch of investors including Golden Birch Investments and SheCapital Venture Fund. The funding will be used to fuel Clovia’s growth.
The company believes that natural herbal care for new and expecting mothers is something which has not unlocked its potential to the fullest, and now the company is at the point to deliver this product of value to young moms.
Along the lines of global expansion, the company already has an office and a shop in the Middle East, and is planning to spread across South East Asia.