And what better way to start this new feature than with our friend Cally Russell, Founder of Mallzee - the personalised shopping app that integrates social media interaction into your shopping experience. (Watch the promo video at the bottom of the site - it’s fab).
Cally has been a supporter of Startacus for the last year or so and has not only helped spread the word about our site, but has also written a few startup guest posts as well. So we were delighted to hear that the App version of Mallzee has just been released and thought we would return the favour and help spread the word on their exciting developments! Over to Cally to explain all!
When were you founded?
July 2012 in Glasgow but we’re now based in Edinburgh in a co-working space which we’ve set up called Silicon Walk.
When did you launch?
Beta launch of the app at London Fashion week in September. The new release follows feedback from current users and features a much more refined UI - swipe left to tell us you don’t like a product, swipe right to like a product. (slightly Tinderesque)
Recently been recognised by Smarta and O2 as one of the top ten innovative mobile businesses in the UK.
Who are the founders? (inc. background if relevant)
Cally Russell - CEO + Founder - Former PR exec, second startup, long listed for Scottish Emerging Entrepreneur of the year
Callum Stuart - COO + Front end Engineer - Former Motorola, Bloxx and HR Startup .
Jamie Sutherland - CTO Former Bloxx, Finalist for best new tech product at Scotland IS awards last year
5 other members of staff. 3 fashion lovers, 1 design genius and a coder who used to make apps for River Island and Debenhams
How are you funded?
Raised an angel round of £150k in April and won a Scottish Government award for £42k more in June. Currently working to raise £350k by March - first commitments already in.
Problem you are trying to solve?
How do you discover clothes online?
There’s now so much choice online it’s difficult to find the clothes that suit you. We want to help people discover clothes that suit them, quickly, easily and on the go - hence mobile only. When you do find something that you like the look of how can you get the opinion of friends? With Mallzee you can share your finds with your friends using the app and get their opinion before they buy. If they don't like it - then you can't buy it. It's perfect for stopping awful purchase decisions.
Who are your most direct or main competitors? What makes you different/better?
A range but two good examples are Lyst and Shopcade.
Different/better in three ways.
Recommendations - personalised recommendation engine that only shows you clothes that we know you’ll like based on the style graph we create as you use the app more and more.
Social - we don’t think social is about following people you don’t know, sharing with thousands of people or pinning your aspirations. To us social is about enabling people to have meaningful conversations with the people that matter. That’s why our users can share clothes only with friends using the app and have conversations with people they know. If those friends vote that you shouldn’t buy something then you can’t!
Mobile only - It's the future of fashion shopping.
Check out the promo video below to see more about what Mallzee is all about. We wish Cally and all the team well going forward!
P.S. - If you like fashion based startups, you might also want to read up on:
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