9 App Startups Reinventing Fashion

Melanie Ring | May 31, 2016

App Business

9 app startups reinventing fashion

As global mobile retail spend continues to rise, these fashion startups are changing the way we discover trends and shop for fashion. This year, investors continue to pour millions into online resale startups, m-commerce fashion apps still rate the Tinder-style swipe functionality and social-fashion apps like Roposo are harnessing the power of community to boost sales. Here are nine of the most innovative fashion startups making and breaking m-commerce trends…

Stylect – A Tinder for shoe lovers

Stylect is a shoe shopping app targeting the female market. Launched in 2013, users can browse thousands of pairs of shoes, make purchases and get information about special offers. The popular discovery app combines the Tinder-style ‘swipe left/right’ model with an e-commerce affiliate sales platform.

Founded in 2013, by CEO Giacomo Summa, Stylect is a graduate of the Oxygen Accelerator and received lead backing from VC Forward Partners. This year (2016) more investment brings their funding total to a cool $1.84 million.

The RealReal – A luxury fashion resale marketplace

The RealReal is a luxury consignment marketplace where you can buy and sell luxury fashion, accessories and homeware. Unlike other online resale marketplaces, The RealReal takes control of listings. They put each luxury item through a rigorous authentication process to weed out the fakes. Along with The RealReal shopping app, the startup’s RealBook app will tell you what your designer goods are worth.

Julie Wainwright, CEO and founder The RealReal says it has grown to over 4.5 million members. In April, the San Francisco-based fashion startup collected another $40 million in a funding round led by Greenspring Associates. This includes more funding from existing investors Canaan Partners, e.ventures and InterWest Partners, taking the company’s funding total to more than $120 million. They plan to use the money to expand into the Australia, UK, Canada and Hong Kong markets.

Mallzee – The original ‘Tinder for shopping’ app

Mallzee is another app startup that has taken inspiration from Tinder’s interface. Users can swipe their way through a shopping gallery of fast-fashion brands (including Zara and Topshop), create ‘style feeds’ based on their preferences, and buy their favourite pieces.

With a background in PR and Marketing, Mallzee’s founder and CEO Cally Russell, spotted an opportunity to create an app that makes shopping on mobile phones painless. It was a good move. To date, Mallzee has raised almost $5 million from four rounds of investment. In 2015, the team secured £2.5 million of investment from Gareth Williams (CEO at Skyscanner), Par Equity, Scottish Investment Bank, Rob Dobson and Royal Mail; with the goal of increasing its user base from tens of thousands to 1 million.

Roposo – The social-fashion network

Roposo is a fashion discovery app that allows users to post fashion stories using photos, blog posts and videos and then matches relevant content to shoppers. Roposo earns a commission on each sale.

Roposo was founded by Kaushal Shubhank, Avinash Saxena and Mayank Bhangadia, in 2012, and has seen three rounds of investment. Backed by New York-based Tiger Global Management, Roposo raised a further $5 million from Bertelsmann India Investments in 2015. The app has clocked 2.5 million downloads to date.

Poshmark – Community marketplace for women’s fashion

Poshmark is a fashion app making progress in the resale market. Founded in 2011, the app startup connects buyers and sellers of women’s clothes and takes a 20% cut from items sold. The app also has a strong social element allowing users to follow friends, brands, and boutiques to create their own fashion feed.

Founded in 2011, Poshmark’s CEO Manish Chandra claims “one in 50 women in America have opened a shop on Poshmark”. The fashion startup recently raised $25 million in a round led by GGV Capital which should boost their plans to expand into men’s fashion and the Canada, Australia, UK and Asia markets.

Grailed – A curated community marketplace for used menswear


Grailed is, essentially, Ebay for men’s fashion junkies. It’s free for buyers to use and Grailed collects 6% commission from sellers. Founded in 2013, Grailed has garnered 200,000 active users and at the beginning of 2016, they launched the Grailed mobile app (currently iOS only).

Founder Arun Gupta started the site after realising there was no used clothing online marketplace specifically for men. He even coded Grailed himself. The startup raised over $1.5 million in a 2015 funding round, including investment from Thrive Capital.

Totspot – A mobile marketplace for kids fashion

Totspot is an app for parents to shop for and buy fashion for their kids and the entire family. The Pinterest-like app boasts over 185,000 users and recently launched Totspot Concierge, allowing busy parents to turn to the Totspot community to sell their unwanted children’s clothes for them.

Vijay Ramani and Vikrant Ramteke founded Totspot in 2014, to solve the costly problem of kids outgrowing their clothes. The 500 Startups graduate received three rounds of funding including a recent $1.5 million seed from Sevenseas Venture Partners.

Grabble – A Tinder-style fashion discovery app

Grabble is a fashion search and discovery app that also includes curated products and stories put together by Grabble’s Fashion Editor and stylists. Style seekers are shown matches according to their preferences and then swipe right for fashion matches and swipe left if an item isn’t for them. Shoppers can then buy their favourite pieces through the app.

In 2015, Grabble founders Daniel Murray and Joel Freeman decided to transform the desktop site into a mobile app, which they say resulted in a 500% increase in user engagement. That same year, the pair closed a $1.85 million angel round including investment from Alex Hoye and UKTV CEO Darren Childs.

Styliff – A virtual reality dressing app

Styliff is an app that allows users to create 3D models of themselves, try on virtual clothing, share their customised outfits with friends and buy items they like. The app is in beta and currently available on iOS.

The brainchild of programmer Konrad Zuwala and graphic designer Grega Trobec, the fashion startup has received $50,000 in funding from angel investor Luciana Fonseca. Styliff recently announced that they’re part of UKTI’s Global Entrepreneur Programme in London and are working on something big – so watch this space!


Just as the world of fashion is embracing mobile, so too are other sectors. You can discover the app startups reinventing fitness, education and more here.

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