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Billy Wood

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Asos looking to the fashion tech future with launch of new accelerator

Global clothing retailer Asos has today launched its first fashion technology accelerator in conjunction with Wayra that will see it supporting promising ‘mature startups’.

The eight-month accelerator, which will be housed at Wayra’s London headquarters, will see Asos and the accelerator specialists, whose parent company are Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, provide a combined £34,000 investment in exchange for a 8% to 10% equity stake in the successful startups.

The tech companies will also benefit from acceleration services, mentoring and office space at Wayra’s UK academy in Central London.

Asos are looking for fashion tech innovators who can provide solutions in areas such as product searches, efficient site navigation, content marketing, big data as well as logistics and delivery.

Interested startups have until 23 May to apply for a spot on the accelerator, ahead of the selection process’ semi-finals on 26 May. Successful firms will then participate in the accelerator’s selection final on 2 June at Wayra’s academy.

Cliff Cohen, Asos Chief Information Officer, said:.“Asos has always been known as a digital leader and this partnership will help us continue to serve the needs of our customers as they evolve.

“There are specific areas where we would like to accelerate innovation, but we are also excited to hear what ideas come back from the startups themselves.

“The potential here, for Asos, our customers and the companies we end up working with, is huge and Wayra UK is the perfect partner to work with on this search,”

Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra UK, commented: “To see Asos – arguably one of Britain’s biggest startup success stories – itself embrace open innovation in this way is truly inspiring and shows why the UK has evolved into one of the world’s best startup ecosystems. Asos is the perfect co-investor for anyone interested in e-commerce, adtech and fashion tech.”

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