Launched by two 21-year-olds, Kakcho, a personal styling partner, has acquired more than 85,000 users till now, and is targeting metropolitan and tier-1 cities.
Be it an interview, date, party or wedding, the what-to-wear question tends to dominate most minds. Asking friends on Whatsapp or looking at bloggers/celebrities for inspiration just leads to more confusion.
Aakash Kakkar and Ridhima Chopra, students at Footwear Design and Development Institute in Delhi, wanted to solve this pervasive problem. The two 21-year-olds put their heads together, and Kakcho was born in 2016. The name Kakcho was derived from the founders’ surnames, Kakkar and Chopra.
Kakcho calls itself “Your Fashion Friend”. It aims to provide efficient fashion advice to users by connecting them to stylists and industry experts. They analyse different aspects such as the user’s body type, complexion, existing wardrobe, etc. and suggest to the user what s/he should wear, buy and experiment with.
The initial days of entrepreneurship
Ridhima and Aakash have worked in different companies such as Squadrun, B-town media, Desi Pirates, and Friends on Wheels. But both of them were fascinated by entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Hugh Hefner since the time they were at school. In fact, they picked FDDI for graduation because the institute focuses on training students to start up.
“Our first internship at Squadrun further influenced us to start up. We learned how to manage people and some key hacks on product development, user acquisition etc.,” Aakash says.
The initial fund was put in by family and friends. The beta version of Kakcho was rolled out in March 2016. Acquiring their first thousand users for the beta launch was extremely challenging for Kakcho.
Aakash recollects, “We used to stand at paan shops for hours and explain to people who were smoking or drinking lemonade about our app. We gave them the hotspot to download the app. We learnt that instant expert advice was the real deal.”
Being in Delhi has its advantages. “A lot can be predicted about different users and their demands, which lets us plan our strategies in terms of acquisition, retention etc. Delhi has a rich diversity, different user segments are accessible, and the environment is friendly, which makes it an easier playground to begin with,” Aakash says.
Focus on fashion-loving millennials
In July 2016, Kakcho stopped the beta and focussed on creating the first version of the app. Kakcho was finally launched in February 2017, and claims to have acquired more than 85,000 users till date by growing at an average of 42 percent month on month.
Kakcho targets millennials in the age group 18-29 years since they are inquisitive about new products and services, and spend a lot of time on grooming. They claim to have done more than 2,00,000 interactions till date.
“We are targeting metropolitan and tier-1 cities for now since users there follow fashion bloggers and celebrities, and are always looking for inspiration to dress better. On an average, this segment shops five times a month and spends a huge chunk of their income on clothes and accessories,” Aakash says.
The six-member team at Kakcho does not even take a salary. According to Akash, they have been able to sustain for more than a year as they have a very low burn rate. Currently, they are looking to raise angel investment.
Tapping user feedback to evolve
Kakcho is a tech startup with fashion at its core. “Push AI in conversational interface and automation helps us deal with our daily traffic,” says Ridhima, who takes care of the product and technology at Kakcho.
Their android app is written in Java and for backend they use Laravel, a PHP framework. The entire app was redesigned based on the feedback from their beta users.
Aakash says they keep tweaking UI/UX based on feedback collected from users every two months about issues they are facing in interactions with the stylist, browsing through the shopping store and wardrobe in the app.
For branding, Kakcho conducts creative photoshoots wherein they try and communicate the power of styling, how it can transform an outfit, and how detailing with makeup and accessories makes the difference. These photo shoots, Aakash says, help them on-board new brands.
Via social media, influencer marketing has worked well for Kakcho. For instance, whenever Instagram influencers, who have a huge fan following, share or write about something, it is taken very seriously by their followers.
“Influencer marketing gives us a wider reach as brands we want to tap also follow these influencers and eventually get digitally influenced before finally coming on-board our platform,” Aakash says.
‘A long way to go’
Kakcho has two revenue streams - a monthly subscription fee from brands suggested to users on the platform and affiliate revenue from major players such as Koovs, Jabong and Myntra on the sale of every product.
Kakcho’s aim is to grow fast and then focus on profitability. It is targeting the Indian market and aims to acquire 500,000 users by the end of the year. Kakcho expects to be profitable by mid-2019. In time, the startup wants to enter the US market.
The fashion industry in India is worth $70 billion; of that, $35 billion is digitally influenced. The fashion-tech startup faces competition from similar apps like Styledotme, Istyleyou, Woolpr, Limeroad and Mydressing.
But Aakash claims Kakcho’s USP is the instant and personalised fashion advice from reliable sources. “Our fashion advisors pursued their education in fashion and have a deep understanding of body types, complexions, and new trends,” he says.
To Kakcho’s credit, they were trending on the Google play store for three consecutive days ahead of apps like Skype.
“But”, says Aakash, “We believe that we are far from being successful. We have a long way to go.”
App link: https://goo.gl/La3DFd