PINNING: Fashion and retail app start-up Pin & Tucker is betting big on Europe after winning a competition through the city of Paris.
The Toronto-based company initially got off the ground via funds raised through a friends-and-family round and took up office space last week within incubator Paris Pionnières, which is focused on female entrepreneurs. In the meantime, it’s been holding preliminary conversations with other retailers, including Galeries Lafayette and Marks & Spencer in hopes of winning over more retailers with its app.
For consumers, Pin & Tucker lets shoppers snap pictures of outfits and then solicit advice prior to buying from a community that gives yeas or nays on the look. The technology for retailers provides a direct marketing path to launch campaigns that could be as broad as worldwide or as hyper-targeted as Los Angeles-only.
A recent upgrade released in beta provides retailers with enhanced access to app users so they can view what’s happening in stores and improve their marketing campaigns.
“It’s allowing them to reach shoppers when it’s relevant to the shoppers,” said cofounder Tracie Wagman.
The company recently launched its app with three retailers at the Malibu Country Mart in Malibu and intends to roll out the technology with the rest of the center’s tenants over the next week. It currently works with a total of 10 retailers in addition to the Country Mart.
The company also signed on with Parisian concept store Spree and hopes to continue its expansion there following its win of 50,000 euros in the French Tech Ticket. The program is aimed at bringing more tech startups to the city, linking companies with incubators.
A permanent office in Paris is likely within the next six to 12 months, according to Wagman.
“They’re the fashion capital so there’s a lot of brands that are out there that are important for us to be partnered with,” she said.
The company’s also found the market in Paris to be open to technology with Wagman adding, “All the doors are open [to start-ups].”
Pin & Tucker’s growth strategy also places importance on collaborations with up-and-coming designers. It’s got one in the works with Otis College of Art and Design, set to launch by February.
“We think it’s important to give emerging designers a platform,” Wagman said. “As they grow, they’ll grow with Pin & Tucker and it also helps us get users.”