On-demand social shopping platform Choosy has secured a $5.4 million seed round.
The round was led by New Enterprise Associates. Participating in the round were Forerunner Ventures, Innovation Global Capital, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, XFactor Ventures, Supernode Ventures and angel investor Bryan Rosenblatt.
Choosy was cofounded by Jessie Zeng, a former investment banker at Citi. Joining her are cofounders Sharon Qian and Mo Zhou, all former colleagues at Citi. Zeng is chief executive officer; Qian is chief technology officer and Zhou is chief strategy officer. The funding will enable the company, which began operations in October 2017, to build out its team and perfect the customer experience from ordering to receiving deliveries.
Choosy is based on a concept that combines artificial intelligence and trend scouts who seek out the most in-demand looks online. Instagram users can also tag posts with #GetChoosy. Choosy identifies the top 10 trending fashions each week, and users can buy their favorite items. Using Zeng’s family connections — her family has roots in textile manufacturing — Choosy’s supply chain can produce items within 48 hours of them trending online. And because the company only makes what their customers demand, Choosy maintains a zero-balance inventory that enables it to minimize wasteful production of excess apparel. The company also owns its entire supply chain from technical design to fabric sourcing.
Eurie Kim, general partner at Forerunner Ventures, said, “At Forerunner, we are looking to invest in the most disruptive companies that are meeting and exceeding consumers’ rapidly evolving needs and expectations with new business models and technology. Choosy is doing exactly that in fashion, where consumers today are discovering unique styles and trends every minute of the day through social media, but brands and retailers are not yet set up to rise to that level of nowness.
“Choosy’s proprietary approach to understanding consumer preferences and demand, in combination with their strength in rapid manufacturing and fulfillment, create a powerful proposition that offers consumers exactly what they want, when they want it, at an affordable price,” said Kim.
Tony Florence, general partner and head of the technology investing practice at New Enterprise Associates, said, “With the founding team’s backgrounds in supply chain, machine learning and finance, combined with their appreciation for fashion and styling and a relentless devotion in brand creation, Choosy is pointed to sit at the helm of the new generation of social commerce, where the shopping experience is a simple extension of consumers’ existing social media habits.”
Zeng said she got the idea from her use of Instagram and saw that the most common question posted by users was over where can they buy a particular item.
“I came to the realization that most influencer and celebrity outfits were curated by a team of stylists sourcing from global luxury brands and were completely unaffordable for most people. Armed with my family’s roots in textile manufacturing, I knew there had to be a way to take these popular silhouettes and make them available to shoppers everywhere at better prices,” Zeng said.
The company said a test run earlier this year that identified street looks inspired by the Hadids saw the line that was created “sold out within hours.”
The apparel is designed and produced in-house, with sizes ranging from 0 to 20. Prices are under $100, with the average price point at $50, and deliveries to shoppers’ doorsteps are in as little as two weeks. The site officially launches in July.