We are living in a world where almost every hour, a man comes up with a new business idea and wishes to turn it into a start-up. However, some don’t survive the market pressure and fail while the others sail, and a few others, fly!
This is the story of Zilingo Pte. founded by a 27-year-old girl, which would soon be valued at $1 billion. She is undoubtedly creating a stir in the world of Fashion
Let’s dig into this inspiring story of Ankiti Bose –
Ankiti Bose, the founder of Zilingo, envisioned the idea of a fashion platform in December 2014 when she chatted with a neighbor named Dhruv Kapoor, at a house party in the Indian tech capital Bengaluru.
Bose, then 23, and Dhruv, then a 24-year-old software engineer at gaming studio Kiwi Inc., realized about the similarity they had in their ambitions and skills to build their own start-up. Four months later they quit their jobs with $30,000 in savings to establish Zilingo, an online start-up that provides small merchants in Southeast Asia the platform to build scale.
The company started off by giving small merchants the platform to sell to consumers and never looked back ever since. As the founders dealt with thousands of small sellers, they realized that many lacked access to technology, capital, and economies of scale.
They expanded themselves by developing software and other tools to allow vendors to access factories from Bangladesh to Vietnam and also help with cross-border shipping and inventory management.
On 13th February, the Singapore-based company has reportedly raised $226 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and Temasek Holdings Pte. The latest reports valued Zilingo at $970 million which makes Bose among the youngest female chief executives to lead a start-up of this size in Asia.
Currently, Bose is now part of a group of founders in Southeast Asia who are capitalizing on the region’s rapid adoption of smartphones and rising incomes. According to Google and Temasek, online shopping is to exceed $100 billion by 2025 from $23 billion in 2018.
Bose currently tries to manage the company’s “hyper-growth” by recruiting the right leadership team and maintaining the right culture. Zilingo operates fashion e-commerce sites in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines and is preparing to launch in Australia soon.
Female founders remain rare in the global start-up world. According to data from Pitchbook in May last year, there are only 23 female founders whose start-ups have crossed at least $1 billion and in total there are 239 such start-ups.
“I kept raising my hand and said, ‘Teach me everything,’” Bose said recalling her pre-start-up years. “I busted my ass, working 18 hours a day because it was so much fun.”
What an ambitious and determined girl! “We were a bunch of twenty-somethings with nothing except this dream and we decided to chase it,” She said.
So all of you twenty-somethings with dreamy eyes, if you are holding back – its time for you to take that jump, afterall only then you can fly!