Tell me a little bit about your background?
I’m a former ‘ad lad’ having worked on creative offline and digital marketing campaigns for the likes of Amazon, Spotify, Intel etc. My specialism was communicating their various products to a 16 – 25 year old ‘younger’ demographic.
How did you come up with the idea for “Grabble”?
I spent lots of time shopping online and was a bit irritated with some of the user experience, and thought it would be great to have one big wishlist that helped me save everything I loved in one place. The idea developed from there…
What is “Grabble” all about? What is your vision?
It’s a fashion discovery platform that allows users to bookmark their favourite fashion & find out when it goes on sale. Users bring products into the community from any fashion site using the ‘Grab’ button (a bookmarking tool), so when they see that dress they love from ASOS they click ‘Grab’ and it will save it back into their personalised collections, and if it goes on sale we notify them by email.
This provides a unique discovery element as every time someone Grabs something from any site, other people can discover it in their feeds and Re-Grab it into their collections. So we are aiming to build up a catalogue of the most desired fashion items on the internet, chosen by our users.
Tell me about your team?
My Co-Founder Joel is a former PwC ACA qualified accountant with his specialism in business advisory and entrepreneurialism, he set up the “Entrepreneur Network” there, which is still going strong! We have very different but complimentary skills, which is essential for Co Founders. Our CTO Rob set up FusePump – a data feed management B2B, so his knowledge in this area is very strong. Our style editor Mei previously worked as a stylist at Jane Carr and Y2 Adidas, and the rest of our team makeup is pretty much fashion and unsurprisingly, female.
What stage are you at with the business and what comes next?
We have successfully launched a public beta and taken minimal funding. We are currently raising a further £150K to take this out of beta and through to validation, £70 of that is SEIS eligible, the rest is EIS eligible. We have signed up over 75 top retailers like ASOS, Topshop etc who manage their own pages, and the next step is to start on boarding medium size retailers to publish their collections from Grabble, on social media.
Anything interesting to tell us about your technical platform?
Crucially everything you see on Grabble can be bought. We already generate revenue thanks to affiliate commissions that enable us to get paid if products get sold. The discovery element is what’s really fun though – people can find new fashion being grabbed by the community and come across loads of interesting independent boutiques all the time! Working with small independent boutiques is a real key to our strategy – we want to facilitate the way they are discovered by new customers and have an altruistic vision in how our technology will allow them to share their collections on social media and beyond.
What is the main challenge that you face?
We always hear the same things from potential investors (why not go straight to the website) because typically they don’t understand that our target demographic love discovering new fashion and trends, and bookmarking products they intend to buy. So I guess a real challenge is that we are often raising money from people who really don’t get our raison d’etre.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Joel and I love running a startup but our true goal is to write a successful sitcom for the BBC or Channel 4. We started one, got distracted and here we are a few months later raising money for a tech startup. Our new aim is to sell Grabble for millions and fund our own sitcom. One way or another, we’ll get it on TV….
The Dreamstake on-line accelerator is the first of it’s kind and has been evolving for the past couple of years. This January we will enter a new phase as we build new funding options into the business model. We believe that we have a unique solution for European tech startups that will bring higher levels of support and greater access to funding than previous solutions.
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