picks $8Mn funding to develop AI-generated fashion models, an artificial intelligence startup established by a team of Chinese entrepreneurs, has recently raised $8 million in Series A financing round headed by Hillhouse Capital, with participation from GSR Ventures and GGV Capital.

The startup claims that it has seen a healthy demand from fashion e-commerce firms that are facing challenges to afford and recruit models owing to their growing number of SKUs (stock-keeping units) or styles as nowadays consumer taste has become more diverse.

With the use of GAN (generative adversarial network), has built software to help firms create virtual full bodies of models by mentioning simple parameters like height, face, skin color, body shape, and pose.

Ella Zhang, CEO & co-founder,, said that the complete garment manufacturing cycle takes two or three months, from design, pattern making, fabric selection, and modeling, to truly striking the shelves.

She said that the firm is shortening and flipping the process. Customers can now check a piece of clothing by putting it on a virtual model, which can go on the website. As soon as the order comes, the e-commerce customer can begin manufacturing. Customers will also be able to test what type of product will suit the by trying it on different virtual models.

Although, it is expected that the operators of fashion e-commerce would find ZMO a cost-saving tool. The firm is also in early discussions with Shein, a fast-fashion giant, which rolls out around 2,000-3,000 new products every day regarding potential collaborations, said Zhang.

ZMO earlier covered Surreal, a Shenzhen-based, sequoia-backed startup also working on synthetic media to replace humans in lifestyle photos and other commercial scenarios.

The business has fascinated a rise in people's interest as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit China's e-commerce exporters, who were struggling to find international models as the whole country undergoes strict border controls.

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