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Why should shopping online be solo? Hyderabad-based VioletStreet aids in matching your outfits

Emmanuel Amberber
posted on 13th September 2014
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For many, shopping for clothes is an emotional experience. Usually people take someone along with them when they shop to solicit third party opinion because not everyone believes in what they see inside the trial room mirror. People want to look their best in front of other people. But it is quite a task to purchase the right outfits.

In the quest to become India’s fashion discovery platform, VioletStreet, based in Hyderabad, wants to aid shoppers with matching decisions.

VioletStreet Hyderabad
VioletStreet homepage

How VioletStreet works

The site saves you from going through thousands of products and inventory to find the right match.

VioletStreet aggregates fashion products from all the online stores in one place. The core offering is finding relevant matching products for every product viewed and real-time shopping with friends which no other player in this space offers.

VioletStreet’s algorithm is all about mixing and matching fashion products and enabling users to express their fashion ideas using simple drag and drop process. When a user views a particular product, VioletStreet recommends which other products would pair best with it, which no other platform provides. It is the first platform in India to launch real-time shopping with friends which reduces the pain of sharing products via links/mails.

The inspiration came, “while observing the behavior of shoppers at a shopping mall in Hyderabad. People generally came along with friends or family, tried products, showed it to their friends, picked matching products and made the purchase. Why is online shopping such a lonely process? How close can we bring it to offline shopping?” says Nayan Kumar, Co-founder of VioletStreet.

He adds, “Online fashion sales have crossed $559 million in India last year. There are too many fashion e-commerce sites, but none engage the user socially. There is a huge need for relevant data and a collaborative shopping experience, especially in fashion.”

The team behind VioletStreet.com

Ankur Gupta is the CEO of VioletStreet and he also heads its technology. He is a graduate in Computer Science Engineering from NIT, Allahabad. Ankur has worked in Microsoft R & D for three years until he quit his job in 2013 to start his own venture.

Nayan Kumar heads UI/UX, Sales, and Digital Marketing. He is a graduate of Chemical Engineering and Economics from BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad. Before co-founding VioletStreet, he worked in the service industry.

Divya Sisodia is the fashion expert in the team. Graduated in Textile Design from NIFT Hyderabad, Divya handles all aspects related to fashion and creative content for VioletStreet.

Ankur and Nayan are Startup Leadership Programme (SLP) fellows and that is where they met first.

Creating 100 looks every day

Users can follow each other to chat and share products instantaneously.

Users can also interact with their Facebook network – friends who have already signed up for VioletStreet will be automatically added to the user’s chat list.

The startup claims that about 100 looks are created every day which is increasing at 100% month-on-month and the site receives more than 20,000 unique visitors every month. On average, the user spends 04:31 minutes on the site, according to external sources.

Their current business model is generating revenue through affiliate sales and advertising. They make money from the traffic that they send to e-commerce sites (Jabong, Myntra, StalkBuyLove, Koov, Pretty Secrets and the likes). VioletStreet didn’t disclose the size of their revenue but they plan to break even in one-and-half years. So far they have raised Rs.10 lakhs investment at TiE Smashup TechStocks.

VioletStreet wants to include men’s fashion and lifestyle products, and establish a pan India presence in the first two years before going global.

Limeroad , Voonik, Roposo. and fashupp.com are some of the players in the space in the domestic market. In the global market, Polyvore, Wanelo, Fancy, Lyst operate in a similar model.

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