A former eBay and Microsoft executive has a new idea for social commerce: pay people to buy and make recommendations.
Luv.it next week officially launches in the Apple App Store, but on Friday will broaden the base of users by some 2,000 people who signed up to be on a wait list. The app pays out 2.5 percent to users on every purchase they make or any recommendation they make that leads to a purchase. The money is then deposited into a PayPal account. Checkout is integrated into the app.
Chief executive officer and cofounder Fernando Trueba, whose background is in business development and marketing, has worked at a number of companies, including eBay where he served as marketing director and helped the auction site launch into 18 Latin American countries. Before eBay he was on a Microsoft strategy team for mobile devices.
“I’ve always played a role where I developed the business from scratch and this was a perfect opportunity to take on a new challenge in my own career,” Trueba said of the app.
Luv.it, which opened up to beta testing about a month ago with some 85 influencers, currently carries product from 80 brands including dRA Clothing, Eleven Paris, Linea Pelle, Genuine People, The Office of Angela Scott, Amore & Sorvete and Objects Without Meaning. The majority of the overall brand mix, about 60 percent, are women’s fashion and accessories lines with the current focus on emerging designers.
“We want to position ourselves with those fashion-forward brands,” Trueba said.
Brands potentially open themselves up to a new customer base and Luv.it generates revenue by charging a fee for every product sold through the app.
“We want it to be everyone’s personal shopping experience,” Trueba said of the long-term vision for Luv.it. “The app is powered by artificial intelligence and it learns from what you’re buying. It learns from what you’re liking. In the long term, we want to have almost any category in fashion — from mainstream to emerging and high price point to lower price point.”
The company closed a $500,000 seed round at the end of last year and plans to go out for a bridge loan in the next few months as it looks to scale and tap the buzz around the field in which its app will operate.
“Social commerce is growing super fast,” Trueba said. “People are trusting recommendations from other people more than they are advertising or celebrity advertisements or digital marketing.”