Asos and Wayra launch tech start-up accelerator programme
Asos has teamed up with Telefónica's Wayra technology incubator to launch a fash-tech accelerator programme focusing on start-ups that can help boost the fashion etailer's customer experience across web and mobile.
The eight month programme is offering £34,000 in direct investment (in exchange for a 5-10% stake), dedicated acceleration services, mentoring and office space at Wayra's academy to a select number of innovative startups who can help improve customer experience, improve fulfilment or offer new ways of understanding and rewarding Asos customers. Wearable tech initiatives have been ruled out from the competition, which is open for applications until 23 May.
"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 start-ups themselves," said Asos chief information officer Cliff Cohen.
The etailer added that partnering with a telecomms group such as Telefónica (parent of O2) made sense as 50% of its sales now came from mobile, while its new iOS app had been downloaded more than 7.5m times since its release in March.
"To see Asos - arguably one of Britain’s biggest start-up 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 start-up ecosystems. Asos is the perfect co-investor for anyone interested in e-commerce, adtech and fashion tech," said Gary Stewart, a director at Wayra.