Meet David Jou, co-founder of Thai fashion brand, Pomelo

n Thailand’s booming e-commerce market for the past 10 years. In 2012, he helped launch one of the country’s leading online retail destinations, Lazada Thailand, before starting his own direct-to-consumer women’s fashion brand, Pomelo, in 2014. 

Since then, Pomelo has grown from an online-only fashion business to a major omnichannel retailer in Southeast Asia, with 26 physical stores across Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and online delivery to 50 countries. 

From the beginning, technology has been a core growth driver – to the point where Jou describes Pomelo as “a technology company that makes fashion”. The retailer famously uses machine learning to personalise the products on its website to each customer and a sophisticated demand forecasting model to make better buying decisions. 

Pomelo is also known for its innovative ‘Tap.Try.Buy.’ model, which allows customers to order unlimited items online and have them delivered to a Pomelo store or partner location to try on before they pay. That way, they don’t have to deal with returning something that doesn’t fit.

Today, Pomelo has over 100 partner locations, including cafes, salons, fitness studios, florists and even other clothing stores. It’s a good example of Jou’s untraditional approach to retail.

“Everywhere we look, we see opportunities for innovation to reinvent how things are done to create better products, better serve customers, and maximise omnichannel productivity and efficiency,” he said. “Fashion is as relevant today as ever and we are excited to chart a unique path forward in an effort to reinvent what it means to be a fashion brand.”

Since launching, Pomelo has raised a total of US$117.6 million from well-known investors, including Chinese e-commerce platform and Thai retail giant Central Group. It doesn’t disclose revenue figures. 

Jou has also acted as an angel investor in several small startups.