When it comes to quickly growing markets, it’s hard to beat Brazil, where an emerging middle class is driving strong demand for all kinds of products — particularly in the e-commerce sector.
The latest startup primed to take advantage of this boom is Basico, which just raised $500,000 in seed funding led by Initial Capital, the Israeli/Brazilian VC fund headed up by investor (and frequent TechCrunch contributor) Roi Carthy, along with Brazilian angel investor Guilherme Soarez.
Basico aims to essentially be Brazil’s answer to Everlane, by being the country’s first online-only premium basic apparel brand. The company, which has a full-time staff of seven, will use the new funding to gear up for its public launch slated for this summer, CEO Alexandre (Bio) Veiga tells me.
Basico’s first line of products will include t-shirts, polos, tank tops, and underwear for both men and women. Basico’s apparel will be made in Peru, as that’s where high-end Pima cotton is grown, Veiga says, and t-shirts will cost the equivalent of $25, half the typical retail price for comparable Pima tees sold in Brazil.
Veiga explains the concept thusly:
“These are the same factories used by big brands such as Abercrombie, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and many others. We have the same material, the same factories, and sometimes an even higher quality control. The idea is to have always the best raw natural materials (Pima, alpaca, merino, Argentinian leather, cashmere) worked by the best factories in the world.
This is a kind of business that is much easier to do online and with a fully verticalized strategy. Of course more people have seen this [work recently] after the business cases from Everlane, Bonobos and many others that are focusing on cutting the middleman and assuring that their quality is premium.”
Indeed, it’s a solid concept that has proved successful in other markets such as the United States. And of course, it bears mention that Everlane is actively working on international expansion of its own, so the race is on to establish a foothold in the Brazilian market. But Basico has in its favor the local connections, manufacturing know-how, and now the funding often necessary to make a business work in its native land — so it is off to a good start of its own.