A product that makes discovering fashion trends and finding gifts hassle free, personalized and fun. That is how Mrigank Shekhar and Kush Srivastava describe their social commerce startup, allMemoirs. “We want to bring the 3Fs of shopping under allMemoirs: Fashion, Fun and Friends,” they tell YourStory.
Less than a year old, allMemoirs have crossed the product validation stage. Their mobile apps have over 25,000 downloads currently. Last month, their iPhone “Gift Ideas” app was among the top 10 in the lifestyle category in India, alongside biggies like Flipkart, Snapdeal and OLX. They are confident about meeting a target of 100,000 downloads by the end of May 2014. “We now believe that the product we are building has value for the end user,” says Mrigank, CEO of allMemoirs.
Kush and Mrigank have been friends since their college days at IIT Delhi. They began their professional career together at Qwest (now Century Link). “Qwest was an interesting mix of startup and corporate atmospheres. While the company was a huge telecom player in the USA, it was a brand new setup in India. We sort of enjoyed the best of both worlds at Qwest,” Mrigank says recalling the two years (2004-2006) they spent there. He then moved to RSA (a major security player, now acquired by EMC), while Kush moved to mCheck, a startup in the mobile payments space. “Both of us spent almost six years in the two extreme ends of the spectrum,” Mrigank says. He was always drawn towards new ideas, toying, experimenting, and innovating on them. He did a fair share of it at RSA, but dreamed of starting up on his own. “What I quickly realised is that if you are working on an idea along with another job, the idea becomes just a hobby because it never gets enough attention or priority.”
Meanwhile, as the technology head at mCheck, Kush was immersed in the startup rigmarole and its thrills — the crazy pace, chaos, huge responsibilities, and need for quick decision-making.
Both of them were keen to startup. Over the years, they discussed ideas threadbare before taking the plunge into the social commerce space. They launched Olmec Technologies Private Limited in Bangalore in January 2013. Their first product, allMemoirs, was launched in May 2013.
allMemoirs is a product classification, tagging and recommendation platform offering a personalized experience. “We handpick products from multiple ecommerce sites and the consumers see them personalized to their likes and tastes,” Kush, COO, allMemoirs, explains.
“For online merchants, allMemoirs provide a marketing platform to reach targeted shoppers with their new product launches, popular products and seasonal promotions,” Mrigank adds.
Currently, allMemoirs has two mobile apps in the market: Android & iOS apps for shopping and fashion, and Android & iOS Apps for gifts. Their third app will be released in the second quarter of this year.
Their focus is on offering a better user experience. And so they have worked on optimizing bandwidth for their mobile app users, investing in image processing, sharpening and compression techniques. “Everyone loves quickly loading images,” Mrigank says.
Social commerce is a growing market in India. Extrapolating data from the US market and Indian market forecasts, Mrigank says, it should be a $250 million market in India by 2015.
There are already several players in the field, aggressively wooing online shoppers. One of the challenges before allMemoirs is how to invoke a ‘love at first sight’ feeling in visiting users. “That is difficult. But we feel that our product capabilities will counter this and our personalized classification engine will retain them for long. Our marketing strategies bring new customers anyway,” Mrigank says.
Their monetization model is being fine-tuned. Presently, when consumers discover products, they get affiliation revenue from the merchant. They are also serving as a marketing platform for merchants to display their new products and showcase promotions.
They plan to scale their user base as well as addressable market, for which they are currently looking at funding options.
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