NEW YORK, July 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, CALA, a managed marketplace that provides a plug and play infrastructure for creators to design and launch fashion brands, closed a $3 million investment. The round was co-led by Maersk Growth, the venture arm of shipping integrated container logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk and a leading early-stage venture capital firm Real Ventures.

“For years, the fashion industry has been fumbling to figure out how to become fully digital, focusing largely on consumer facing technologies and ignoring the back-end, business-to-business side of the equation. Meanwhile, the next generation of tastemakers have been busy growing multi-million person audiences on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok,” said Andrew Wyatt, CEO of CALA. “We’re in the midst of an evolution in commerce that is centered around these niche digital audiences and CALA provides the easiest, most efficient way to conceptualize, launch and scale a digital-first brand.”

CALA’s platform is used by direct-to-consumer brands, influencers, and retailers to seamlessly design and produce apparel in a completely digital-first way. CALA bids out each project to the best fit partner in their network of global manufacturing partners, providing speed and flexibility to the brands that it works with. For example, in January or February, a project might be bid out to a factory in another region versus China to avoid any production delays associated with Chinese New Year or a brand doing a small minimum order quantity would be bid out to a partner that specializes in small batch production.

“We are very excited to be a part of CALA and a technology that is empowering the next generation of cultural influencers to launch their own fashion brands,” said Sune Stilling, Head of Growth at Maersk. “Fashion is an important industry for Maersk and CALA’s solution helps create market access for a new breed of fashion brands by offering an entire fashion lifecycle from initial ideation to production and fulfillment that can be set up and scaled in just a few months. We look forward to partnering with the CALA team on this journey.

With a clientele that sells almost exclusively direct-to-consumer, CALA’s one-stop platform for the design, creation, and production of clothing and accessories has seen continued growth and momentum, even in the midst of economic volatility. CALA has signed over 20 new partnerships in the past three months and produced over 75,000 garments across 500 unique apparel styles since January 2019. Some of CALA’s latest and most notable partnerships include NFL player Travis Kelce, hip hop artist KSI, Deena Nicole Cortese from The Jersey Shore, Tabria Majors and Colton Underwood.

"In the same way that the internet democratized access to building an audience, CALA affords the opportunity for anyone –regardless of their race, gender, sexual preference or socio-economic background –to create and amplify their voice through fashion,” said Janet Bannister, Managing Partner at Real Ventures. “CALA’s technology is the first to deliver simple, agile and streamlined access to the infrastructure that was historically only accessible to well-connected, well-financed individuals or brands. I’m passionate about companies and technology that will help usher in the next wave of generational change and couldn’t be more excited to be working with CALA.”

Brand Building Expertise
In addition to providing the infrastructure to build a brand, CALA believes deeply in the accessibility to experts and educational materials required to be successful. Last month, CALA launched 1MOQ, a weekly newsletter and content archive providing tactical resources and industry commentary on how to build a successful fashion brand. Sign up and get access to 1MOQ here.

About CALA
Founded in 2016, CALA is a managed marketplace that provides a plug and play infrastructure for creators to design and launch full scale, digital-first fashion brands, regardless of their level of formal design training. By digitizing and unifying the entire apparel supply chain, CALA users benefit from an accelerated time to market, lower up-front costs, smaller order minimums, and more visibility into their projects. CALA is headquartered in New York City. Visit https://www.ca.la/pricing for more information on pricing and plans.

Maersk Growth
Maersk Growth is the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller - Maersk. Maersk Growth invests and accelerates growth businesses to shape the future of trade, drive transformation in logistics and supply chain, and to support Maersk’s corporate vision of delivering seamless, end-to-end logistics services.

Real Ventures
Real Ventures serves mission-driven entrepreneurs and nurtures the communities in which they thrive. Established in 2007, the firm backs visionary founders building innovative tech companies that will have large-scale positive impacts on society. The firm also helps entrepreneurs to realize the full potential of their companies by providing them with the guidance, stage-specific help and communities required to develop the self-awareness and operational capabilities for global success. Real has invested in over 280 companies across five funds, with $330 million under management. Real’s active portfolio companies have a total current value of over $5 billion. Realventures.com

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