Personalisation-focused fashion marketplace,Voonik, announced earlier today that it had acqui-hired Getsty, a curator of personalised fashion for men. The company is set to launch a men's fashion app and this move helps them speed up the process and set up this new division.
Founded in 2013 by Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan, Voonik app handpicks clothes for users based on their body type, skin tone, and budget and style preferences. It provides recommendations from stylists on the kind of clothes that will suit the user, how to wear them, and what to pair them with.
Voonik claims that over 15,00,000 products from more than 5500 stores including top online stores and 3000 brands are available to users on the Voonik app. In June 2015, Voonik had secured USD 5 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Seedfund. Voonik was most recently in the news for its TV ad campaign featuring popular Bollywood director, Farah Khan where it emphasised on the pleasures of being fashionable every day.
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Getsty.com, a Bengaluru-based personal shopping site for men was co-founded by Saurabh Acharya and Ashish Khandelwal(IIT-Kanpur graduates). While they were operational for two months, Getsty created a personal shopping experience for men, by connecting them to stylists. Through a questionnaire, customers could create their profile on Getsty.com, on the basis of which their personal stylist would send them a set of 8-10 clothes most appropriate for them.
Customers could keep whatever they liked and return the rest of the clothes. Talking to YourStory, Saurabh mentioned that men were generally not as fashion conscious and they need a lot of assistance to make the right purchases. Men are also price conscious and not prone to impulse buys like women. Talking about the acqui-hire he said,
Ashish and I were convinced from the beginning that there are millions of people like us, who don’t know how to dress correctly and how to choose the right clothes. When we heard about Voonik’s plans to launch a men’s division, we wanted to have a discussion with them. The Voonik team and overall culture is impressive, so we decided to come on board.
By acqui-hiring Getsty, Voonik plans to leverage its existing customer base, its supplier network and its effective recommendation engine to speed up its own men’s offering. Sujayath, Voonik CEO and Co-Founder said,
Our customers have given us the confidence that there is a huge market for personalisation and affordable fashion. With 5 million plus installs, we already have highest engagement in shopping apps and have grown 2600% Y-O-Y in FY15-16. Our customers have consistently demanded a men’s range. With this huge demand already in place and the lack of good fashion apps for men, I feel there is a large untapped market for this product.
This is Voonik's second acqui-hire. In August 2015, Voonik had acqui-hired TrialKart, a mobile platform that provides a virtual dressing room experience to shoppers. The move helped Voonik improve its image reading and deep learning capabilities that are core for personalisation. With its latest acqui-hire, Voonik aims to further augment its offerings in the Indian market and go after both genders.
Fashion is estimated to be a $35 billion market in India and has gone through a lot of changes. Most players are now focussing on personalisation. Tiger Global backed Roposo positions itself as a fashion-focussed social media platform. Limeroad, a social discovery platform for women, had raised a $30 million Series C round from Tiger Global and other existing investors in March 2015. Mobile-focussed fashion discovery platform Wooplr raised $5 million from Helion Ventures in February 2015.
E-commerce platforms such as Myntra and Jabong have gone from pure-play marketplaces to platforms that focus on personalisation, with Myntra also having its own product lines. Kae Capital backed Fynd and Bengaluru based Dekkoh that focusses on men and women's clothing are among the most recent players in this sector.
While Voonik has tasted success with its fashion marketplace for women, launching a men's fashion app will definitely involve more challenges and getting the product-market fit right will also require maturity in the market. It will be interesting to see how Voonik tackles this problem and what tried and tested strategies it will leverage from Getsty's playbook. Ticket sizes will most likely be smaller in the men's category atleast in the early days, so it will be even more interesting to see how the supply and demand side plays out.