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7 start-ups that could transform the business of retail

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In terms of the number of firms, India is still the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world. China and Israel are not far behind, though, and the US leads by a huge margin.

With a total funding of approximately $4 billion, close to 650 start-ups were funded last year (2015), signifying a healthy growth of the ecosystem. Over 30 new academic incubators have been established under the Government’s ‘Start-up India Stand-up India’ initiative this year, and tier-II/III cities have established 66 percent of the new incubators.

With regard to investments, investors are increasingly looking at opportunities in start-ups in areas other than online retailing. Ventures in fintech, healthtech, edutech, data analytics, B2B commerce and artificial intelligence, are seeing rising interest.In this second segment of a roll-call of start-ups that could potentially alter the business of retail in India, we present 7 potential game changers.

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Estilorobe is not just an app but a platform where users can schedule particular days when they plan to wear special looks approved or suggested by stylists or fashionistas and set a reminder in advance. Currently no single app exists in the market which provides all these features on a single platform. Users can seek personalised fashion advice from their favourite stylists. The USP of Estilorobe is its individuality and unique functionality, according to the co-founders.

The app not only digitises and organises one’s wardrobe but also offers styling options and provides updates on the latest trends. It connects users with fashion bloggers and fashionistas so that users can share their looks with them and get feedback on the same for modification or improvement. Integrating several other interesting features, the Estilorobe application is a complete package. For instance, users can store the looks which fashion bloggers or fashionistas have thumbed up for future trials.

1.

HypeDis brings well curated posts of products from fashion outlets around a user to his or her mobile device. Each post features a real picture of products in a store and is accompanied with information such as price range, distance to the store, store timings and much more to make a shopper’s life easy.

This was built to empower anybody who owns or manages a brick and mortar store to market their business. They provide stores with the HypeDis Partners app that allows them to put up high quality posts of products from within stores.

This innovative startup has over 80 fashion outlets in Bangalore as their partners and showcase more than 500 products on HypeDis. They have around 200+ users, a lot of whom are word-of-mouth achievement and they have an average of 30 post views every time a user opens up HypeDis. It is the only hyperlocal marketing platform that features both independent designers and multi-brand retail stores, staying true to the vision of taking every offline business online.

2.

 

Styletag is a shopping website that hosts flash sales with curated styles for a limited period at up to 70 percent off. The team at Styletag curate designs from leading designers as well as the new stars on the horizon. The product portfolio of Styletag encompasses a range of affordable luxury products such as apparel, bags, shoes, home décor, toiletries and accessories such as scarves, watches, snoods, etc.

All the merchandise comes from the manufacturer, a licensed agent, retailer or an importer. Going forward, Styletag.com foresees scaling up to 100 Omnichannel models across the major cities in India in less than two years and becoming a prominent player in the fashion segment.

While its brick-and-mortar presence will aid in brand building, the company aims to aggressively retail through online commerce to successfully reach out to style aficionados.

The company is looking to establish its Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) between `50 to 70 crore by the end of this year.

3.

Mishtag, an Android-only, shopping Q&A app that is designed to make asking and answering questions around fashion, lifestyle and home decor fun and easy.

With an amazingly simple and user-friendly interface and delightful design, it is developed to allow the customer to ask her most pressing shopping questions to a community of stylists, designers, specialists and fellow fashionistas and ensure she gets real opinions and answers.

The app also lets her post a picture along with her questions, which makes it super easy to give the readers a visual angle to her question, thus making it easier for her to understand and answer it.

4.

Istyleyou is a mobile based platform to deliver personalised styling service by a network of professional human stylist. The network of professional stylist would help the customers buy the apparels and accessories, based on their personal profile and preferences. The technology based on intelligent algorithms, will assist human stylist to be more efficient and accurate in delivering personalized recommendations.

The customer can seek professional advice of what they should wear for numerous occasions. The customer can also take a picture of an apparel or accessory and ask for advice from the network. They will also get recommendations from the stylist on what is trending, what is on sale and what they should buy this season.

Founded in November 2015, Bollywood actor Rannvijay Singh has recently become the brand ambassador of the start-up and has also invested in the company.

5.

Secret Dresser is a portal for pre-owned branded and designer wear and accessories that are in near mint condition at discounted rates. The website deals in haute couture brands like Sabyasachi, Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor and accessories such as watches, bags, and shoes for both men and women from international design houses like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Karen Millen and Ted Baker.

The portal is completely buyer-protected and only lists authenticated goods. The products, especially clothes and bags, that are in excellent condition are only included in the portal and it offers authenticity certificates for international brands at a minimal additional charge.

Only after the quality and authenticity of the items are thoroughly checked and approved, are they listed on
the website.

6.

Launched in April 2015, Fashalot connects shoppers to brick and mortar retail stores in their neighbourhood. The platform enables consumers to discover clothing of their choice, available at stores, at their nearest location. The ultimate aim for the platform is to increase foot traffic and engagement at stores.

The start-up is operational in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru, and aims to aggressively scale up its operations to newer cities by the end of this year.

The platform has driven more than 15,000 people to their partner stores in March 2016. And their repeat rates are over 30 percent as of now. Fashalot has also recorded over 60,000 downloads for their app across platforms. To boost transactions of the platform, Fashalot offers monetary benefits to their customers for e-transaction.

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