Christ­mas Comes Early

Yoho! gets in­vest­ment from C Ven­tures.

WWD Digital Daily - - Front Page - BY TIF­FANY AP

SHANG­HAI — Yoho!, China’s go-to au­thor­ity for ev­ery­thing streetwear, has re­ceived $25 mil­lion in Se­ries E+ fund­ing from C Ven­tures, the youth-fo­cused fund founded by Adrian Cheng and Clive Ng, WWD has learned ex­clu­sively.

Through this part­ner­ship, Yoho!’s al­ready in­flu­en­tial me­dia and re­tail do­main is set to grow its off-line foot­print, tap­ping into K11’s strengths in re­tail, of­fice and ho­tels across

Greater China.

“We are very ex­cited about the growth po­ten­tial of Yoho! as it con­tin­ues to open more av­enues to cap­ture the im­por­tant Chi­nese Mil­len­nial and

Gen Z au­di­ences,” said Clive Ng, co­founder of C Ven­tures. “We are at an in­ter­est­ing cross­roads where on­line-first com­pa­nies like Yoho! are go­ing off-line to ex­pand their busi­ness, dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing them­selves. So even more in­ter­est­ing is the pos­si­bil­ity of on­line and off-line col­lab­o­ra­tions Adrian Cheng’s K11 can open up for Yoho! in the fu­ture.”

Yoho! has been mak­ing quick strides in phys­i­cal re­tail. In Oc­to­ber 2017, it opened its first brick-and-mor­tar shop in Nan­jing, a 53,000-square-foot space, equipped with cut­ting- edge tech­nolo­gies such as RFID shelv­ing and smart fit­ting rooms. It fol­lowed that up with its sec­ond bou­tique in Shang­hai last month, on top of host­ing a pop-up at the K11 Mall in Shang­hai. Run­ning un­til Oct. 14, the space fea­tures merchandise from 26 Chi­nese and in­ter­na­tional streetwear brands.

Founded in 2005 by Chao Liang, Yoho! be­gan as a mag­a­zine, but has mor­phed into an ecosys­tem ca­ter­ing to streetwear-fix­ated youth in China. Be­sides me­dia and re­tail, the trend­set­ting com­pany started the B2C fes­ti­val and trade show Yo’Hood, which just wrapped its sixth edi­tion. It also runs an in­cu­ba­tion pro­gram, called YoHope, tar­get­ing young de­signer brands, and op­er­ates streetwear life­style app Mars.

Its Western-fo­cused peer Hype­beast has been ex­pand­ing its reach in sim­i­lar fash­ion, too. Last week­end, Hype­beast held its first fes­ti­val, called Hype­fest, fol­low­ing sev­eral re­tail pop-ups.

“Mr. Cheng and K11 not only have a unique and ad­vanced con­cept in the art, fash­ion and life­style space, but have also been con­sis­tently in­spir­ing and shap­ing the life­style of younger gen­er­a­tions, which res­onates with the fu­ture di­rec­tion of Yoho!,” said Chao Liang, founder and pres­i­dent of Yoho! “Through merg­ing re­sources and join­ing forces, Yoho!’s in­flu­ence in the me­dia, re­tail and life­style sec­tors will grow con­sid­er­able, whereas K11 will ben­e­fit from Yoho!’s high- qual­ity, cu­rated con­tent as well as ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional fash­ion re­sources.”

Since its launch just a year ago, C Ven­tures has racked up nu­mer­ous in­vest­ments around the globe con­nect­ing fash­ion, me­dia and tech­nol­ogy. The fund has taken stakes so far in Xiao­hong­shu, Moda Operandi, Bandier, DayDayCook, Sky­bound Dig­i­tal, Dazed Me­dia, Beau­ty­con, Ar­mar­ium, Fin­ery and Threads.

Adrian Cheng

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