Roposo, a fashion-focused social network from India has raised $15 million from existing investor, Tiger Global. The company was founded in 2013 by three IIT Delhi alumni, Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena, and Kaushal Shubhank as a branch of Giveter, a gifting platform. Roposo allows women to discover and shop new products and trends that are curated, personalized and updated daily from across online brands and e-commerce portals.
Headquartered in Gurgaon, Roposo is a brand of Relevant E-solutions and is available on both the web and mobile platforms. In March 2015, Roposo had raised a Series A round of $5M from Tiger Global, with participation from existing investors, Indian Quotient, and Binny Bansal (who has now exited).
At present, Roposo's user base mainly consists of women in the age group of 16-35 distributed across metros, Tier 2 cities, and towns, across India. Mayank added, "While the traction in metro cities is comparatively high because of the population and Internet adoption, if you normalize the data, it is almost the same across cities and towns."
Fashion as a sector has gone through a lot of changes in India. Roposo is positioning itself as a fashion focused social media platform. E-commerce platforms such as Myntra, Jabong have gone from pure-play marketplaces to marketplaces or platforms that focus on personalization with Myntra having their own product lines. Voonik, which was one of the early starters in this space in India, raised $5M from Sequoia Capital and Seedfund in June this year. Limeroad, a social discovery platform for women, had raised a $30M Series C round from Tiger Global and other existing investors in March 2015.
While the biggies such as Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, and others have their 'eyes' on visual search and have made soft launches, Snapshopr founded by Navneet Sharma and Debashish Pattnaik, Wazzat Labs founded by Mauktik Kulkarni, Jay Guru Panda, and Naveen Sinha have been around for some time.
Roposo claims that with more than one million active users, the user-generated content is escalating four times every month. They allow users to discover fashion products across 300 web stores and 4000 brands through styling stories, reviews, DIYs and trend inspirations. Mayank credits Roposo's growth to word of mouth marketing and their user-generated content. They plan to utilize this funding round to experiment with different channels and figure out the best marketing strategy for them. Mayank added,
Celebrities from Bollywood, designers, hair stylists, make up artists, fashion bloggers, and brands like Jabong, Vero Moda, Biba, and Only etc are on Roposo with active profiles, creating fashion and styling stories while engaging with their users on a regular basis. We have also redefined the meaning of taking selfies by introducing 'photo review’ for every online fashion buy.
Roposo found that people generally have difficulty in believing reviews of different products, so by associating selfies with real people they allow users to visualize how it may look on them. Users also have the option of reaching out and interacting with the person who uploaded the image for their feedback.
Roposo plans to invest this round of funding in building a stronger team of global standards, reinforcing their technological infrastructure and enhancing and revamping the product. They plan to hire engineering talent to invest more into their web and mobile platforms. Regarding the mobile vs web debate, Mayank added,
As a social network, we want to be present everywhere, both on mobile and web platforms. Even if a user wants to surf on the desktop for one out of 10 sessions, who are we to say no to that.
Fetise.com, a niche e-commerce platform for men, backed by SeedFund had shut down in February last year. On being asked how he currently sees this market for men and if there is a need for a fashion-centric platform for men, Mayank added,
As awareness increases, we may see a lot of social networks or discovery platforms for men in the future. Roposo can actually enter this market easily by making modifications to our backend, but we want to focus on one particular use case and become masters at that.