The 2015 SydStart conference will be taking place at Sydney’s Town Hall on the 29th and 30th of October. It will be Australia’s largest startup event focused on growth and internet marketing, and will also see two founders of our region’s largest female-focused ecommerce stores take centre stage: Jane Lu, from well known Australian young women’s fashion site Showpo, and Diajeng Lestari, the founder of Muslim-focused fashion site Hijup.
While those in the local startup ecosystem are no doubt familiar with Lu and her business in the tech startup space via her extensive media coverage over the last couple of years, they would perhaps be less familiar with Lestari and her rapid-growth online store Hijup.
Lestari started Hijup with a simple dream – to make Indonesian fashion products available globally. Given Indonesia has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, with approximately 202 million people, Hijup has concentrated on building market share locally before expanding the brand overseas.
In much the same way as Lu, Lestari has built a huge fan base and a network of repeat customers off the back of social media. Whilst strong on Facebook, the Hijup YouTube account is another story – this is where much of the growth hacking for the brand has occurred.
Lestari is a master at telling the story of her brand via the medium of video. Whether it’s a ‘how to style’ fashion tutorial, a famous Islamic model or customers sharing their tips and fashion trends, there is something for everyone. The medium of YouTube far outweighs the other social networks in assisting to build the brand, which I find quite interesting. I highly suspect it has everything to do with culture – video is much bigger in Asia than Australia at the moment. Hijup’s YouTube channel has just under 19 million views, making it the Indonesia’s 12th most successful business on the platform.
Hijup now has a solid customer base well beyond the borders of Indonesia, having expanded to other countries with strong Islamic communities, such as Malaysia. The brand also ships to Australia and many other countries around the world, with the younger generation of Muslim women voting for brighter, more diverse clothing options with their hard earned cash online.
Hijup is just one of Asia’s fast growing startups in the ecommerce sector. Ecommerce stores in Asia are bringing in over half a trillion dollars in revenue. That is set to increase dramatically by the year 2020.
Lestari has built herself a standout business amongst a lot of noise, and while we might not hear the name Hijup throughout mainstream tech and fashion media too often here, Lestari is becoming one of the most well known figures in technology within the Asian region, fast. The company claims to have doubled revenue growth every year since it launched.
Hijup raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in February this year – the first since launching in 2011 – from high profile venture capital firms 500Startups, Fenox Venture Capital, and Skystar Capital. The same firms also invested additional cash into the business when Hijup completed a second round of seed funding in July this year.
Lestari will be speaking out SydStart’s sell out event this year with some of Australia’s most prolific investors, founders, entrepreneurs, programmers, designers, growth marketers, corporates, and small to medium businesses at Sydney’s Town Hall on the 29th and 30th of October. Tickets can be purchased here.