A new shopping app developed by the twin sisters behind Stylerunner has raised $1.6 million in seed funding.
The round was led by former banking exec Andrew Hagger, CEO of Fortescue founder Andrew Forest’s family investment firm, Tattarang and his charity arm, the Minderoo Foundation, supported by ASX-listed Touch Ventures, plus others.
Sisters Sali Sasi and Julie Stevanja launched a “curated shopping and discovery app”, Her Black Book, three months ago.
It’s now a decade since the pair founded ecommerce activewear site Stylerunner, which slid into administration in October 2019. The brand survived when it was acquired by footwear company Accent Group just weeks later.
The twins announced their return to entrepreneurship with Her Black Book last October, describing it as “a smart new solution for the consumer to save them time and money; and retailers, a premium incentive destination that better aligns with their brand’s style and values”. It’s “designed to attract and engage Gen Z, Millennials and discerning women who love to shop”.
The business launched with a $5 million valuation, with the raise upping that figure by 50%.
Having gone through the process with Stylerunner, Sasi said they know first-hand how hard capital raises can be.
“So it’s refreshing to have such strong support so early, we had to be disciplined in saying ‘no’ to more capital at this stage,” she said.
“It’s an exciting prospect for our business, but also another run on the board for female lead businesses, who are still so under-represented when it comes to funding, particularly at VC and PE level.”
Hagger, a former senior banking exec, said he’d known Sasi for years and always valued her work ethics and business acumen, later meeting her sister and offering his time as a mentor.
“They are determined, passionate, and I admire their ‘never give up’ attitude. I’m equally thrilled to be a part of their journey and support in Her Black Book’s growth,” he said.
More that 500 brands have signed on, and brands can partner directly via Her Black Book’s partner portal, or connect via affiliate channels such as Commission Factory, Awin and Rakuten.
The ‘freemium’ app allows user to download and browse offers and promotions including cashback for free, with the option to subscribe to 12-months ($24.99), 6-months ($14.99), or 3-months ($9.99) + GST for full access to flash sales listings and notifications from preferred brands.