The Startup Village in Kerala has given rise to many promising startups and has proved to be a great platform for youngsters in the state. Addictive Innovations is one such company from Startup Village that was founded by a bunch of youngsters — Antony S Pathadan, Anto Varghese, Ashiq Kallingal, Ashwin Chacko, Rohith Krishnan, Kiran Kurias and Adithya Job — in their fourth year of college. It is a services company with an expertise in design and development. “We provide solutions for all your online needs and make your online presence unique, including web design and development, mobile development, SEO/SEM and the works,” says Antony.
The youngsters have now graduated and have also come out with their first product, Shoponlady, which aims to be the fashion marketplace built around real-time social experiences. Shoponlady is like a fashion GPS for women. It is a mobile fashion marketplace built around real-time social experiences where people gather to search, save, shop, share, and sell fashion via their phones. “We are transforming the traditional window shopping experience in such a way that shoppers have an unparalleled access to view in-store products and special offers available nearby, delivered directly to the palm of their hand,” says Antony.
For the boutiques, Shoponlady wants small, big retailers and individual fashion designers to join and sell their products online. Shoponlady has gathered around 3500 boutiques, beauty parlours & jewellery stores in Kerala. The core target audience is, of course, women. Only on Android at the moment, the app was launched on Women’s Day. “Since its launch, we’ve got over 12,000 views from over 40 countries. The iOS and Windows versions of the app will be out soon,” says Antony.
Glitstreet from Delhi is another startup which allows people to window shop online. However, there is a difference in the model — Glitsreet approaches boutiques individually while Shoponlady is a more scalable but less reliable model where the information is taken from the net or by cold calling. Shoponlady has also taken the mobile route to grab the opportunity first. Another interesting trend is that the solution is focused only on women much like Roposo which is a venture backed product discovery engine for women.
The market is huge with e-commerce pegged to touch $70 billion by 2020 in India which will benefit the e-commerce enablers alongside. Shoponlady sits pretty at the intersection of a few trends — rise of mobile, women & shopping, and the growing e-commerce in India. As far as funding goes, Shoponlady sustains via their services projects. “After graduating in 2013, we went into the web services which were mainly to different institutions like schools, motels and organizations like YMCA, Mather Builders, INDOCERT etc. We’re shifting focus to products now and will start looking to raise funding for Shoponlady,” says Antony. Going further, the plan for Shoponlady is to build closer ties with boutiques and strengthen its base in Kerala before moving on to Chennai and Bangalore.