We are extremely proud to announce that the company has just received $1M in seed funding from a real estate and investment company in Bangalore.
“Variety is the spice of life” Back in our school days, while wearing our uniforms, we would be eagerly waiting for our birthday so that we can show our friends the trending cloaks in our closets. The clothes we bought were sufficient for festivals, outdoors and indoors, and other special occasions. But once we have come out of the “uniform phase”, somewhere in the back of our mind, we had to show people a variety of trending clothes to overcome the “uniform” tag. I remember people borrowing saris from neighbors or relatives in order to show a variety on special occasions, inspite of having a huge collection themselves.
Have you ever looked at your closet or closets (yes, it’s happening) with an assorted collection of unopened, unworn shopping bags sitting on the floor and find yourself saying, “I have nothing to wear!”. Well, it’s not just you, millions of Indian women stock their closets with stuff worth over one billion dollars every year and still have nothing to wear. Nearly a third of their closet is never worn and another third is worn once or twice at the most. This was also the case of Rashi Menda, the founder of Zapyle. She realised that our country lacks a platform that assists pre-loved clothes and accessories in finding new homes in new wardrobes.
The Zapyle Fashionista
Rashi Menda, Founder & CEO of Zapyle was previously part of a co-founding team at an e-commerce platform in 2012 that caters to apparel for kids – Unamia.com. She had previously completed her BSc in Economics-Finance from University of Minnesota.
Zapyle was founded in May 2015 with a founding team of 5 technology wizards and their very own in-house celebrity fashion blogger. The current team consists of 10 people, some of whom are IIT alumni, they will rapidly expand the team soon. It is a C2C marketplace that enables women to discover, sell and buy pre-loved fashion. It’s a place where you can post a picture of your preloved goods online, so you can find a taker who will create more memories with it.
The Reuse Challenges in Fashion Recommerce
The fundamental challenge that fashion re-commerce marketplaces face is that people think there’s a stigma associated with purchasing pre-owned clothes. However, when women browse through items priced at as low as 70% off the retail price – their stigma changes to excitement. Moreover, Zapyle users have the opportunity to purchase those brands which they aspire to own but normally wouldn’t purchase because it was out of their budget.
There are several other start-ups attempting to solve the same problem – such as Elanic, Etashee and Rekinza. However, each have adopted different approaches – they believe that their approach is significantly different.
Zapyle’s experience ground is built in a significant way to ensure that every user spends time understanding each style. Once a user establishes which style appeals to them, their Zapyle Style preference acts as a filter – ensuring that when they scroll through merchandise, only what appeals to them will show up. Also, they have realized that women’s shopping decision gets influenced by the people they admire. Their strategy of having on influencers as sellers will influence women’s shopping decision on Zapyle.
Zapyle’s mission isn’t just to build a great re-commerce marketplace; they have a razor-sharp focus on user experience and on their target audience (women aged between 18-30 who frequent social media). Their approach is unique because it’s social first, ZapyleSocial encourages women to upload their closets online one picture at a time in an Instagram like fashion.
At Zapyle, it’s not just about the price tag on the clothes, each Zapyle user builds a base of followers based on their fashion sense. Odds are that the more followers a Zapyle user has, the more likely they are to influence the purchasing decisions of another Zapyle users.
Educating the Indian Fashionista
Furthermore, users love and comment on each others posts, but unlike Instagram or Facebook, on Zapyle they’ve observed an entirely different conversation in the comments section. Women ask each other questions such as “I like the way you’ve paired that top with that skirt. I have a similar top, what else do you think I can pair it with?” Today’s young Indian woman doesn’t mind spending money on fashion – but they don’t know what to spend it on. Hence they look to peers whom they perceive as fashionable and therefore as inspiration which influences their purchasing decisions.
To further help guide users, they’ve broken down fashion into 4 distinct styles:
Yes, they’ve created their own trend in the online fashion recommerce. Zapyle’s vision is to introduce revolving closets – where women don’t wear the same outfit for too long – they Zapyle it after wearing it a couple of times and then put the money back into getting a new outfit.
Though. zapyle was just founded 3 months ago, and they’ve already got their Android app live. They have over 2500 people who have signed up to the wait list and they’ll be launching their iOS app in a couple of weeks as well!
At Zapyle, they’ve partnered with over a 100 fashionistas who have achieved celebrity status on social media (each have between 5,000 to 1,00,000 followers) and they’ll be allowing 100 influential sellers to begin selling first and the buyers will be across India. They will begin with about 400 unique products, and hope to do 600 orders in the month of December and reach 100 orders a day by May 2016.
“There’s a huge potential and inventory lying in every woman’s closet”
Every woman has a closet and therefore, Zapyle is marketing to the multi-billion dollar universal market of closets that are ever-changing at incredible momentum – fast enough that fashion-conscious will be the new norm. With Zapyle, no woman will ever have the problem of feeling like they have nothing to wear, and have fun while they’re at it! Zapyle has already raised a seed fund and they are in talks with various marquee investors for their Series A round. They are looking to raise between $3-$5 million by the end of this year.