Chris Morton, CEO and cofounder of Lyst poses for a photograph at his office in London, Britain May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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When Chris Morton was setting up a fashion e-commerce company five years ago, he spent a lot of time listening to online music service Spotify.It already has 3 million users a month, and Morton aims to grow to around 20 million in the next five years.While Spotify was an inspiration for Morton, other London-based online retail entrepreneurs, like Farfetch founder and CEO Jose Neves, are using tricks learned from social media to create fashion communities that together discover, share and, most importantly, buy.Its fashion investments include Lyst and mobile, social and fashion-focused Depop.The most successful startups use social media networks, particularly image-based Instagram, which has some 300 million active users, to create communities who share like-minded interests, and can be converted into customers.Farfetch, which was founded in 2008 and has an annual revenue growth rate of around 90 percent, works by allowing fashion boutiques to personalize their offerings online through individual "shop fronts".Germany's Rocket Internet, which has invested in more than 100 e-commerce startups, has recently consolidated its fashion startups active across dozens of emerging markets into a single unified company, Global Fashion Group.
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