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Today Go Try It On, an iOS app and web site for giving and receiving opinions on outfits, announced its first round of funding, $3 million from Index Ventures, Len Blavatnik and Alex Zubillaga.
Advice apps that provide real-time feedback are popular this week. Opinionaided, an app for making decisions on the fly, received $4.3 million in a funding round yesterday. The idea may also feel familiar to anyone who has spent time using a Hot or Not site or app.
Marissa Evans, founder of Go Try It On, told VentureBeat that the company is moving away from more negative feedback associated with many opinion apps by monitoring the comments around the clock for inappropriate content.
“We want this to be a place for people to feel safe,” said Evans. “As a startup, we think it’s important to err on the side of being a little more strict. We don’t want people to feel bad about themselves.”
The Go Try It On show-and-tell experience is geared toward young women: pink and damask with the opportunity to judge. GTIO users, referred to as “stylists,” weigh-in on uploaded photos of other members’ outfits and accessories. Images can be added by taking a photo in-app or choosing something from your camera roll.
The crowd-sourced opinions are then tallied by clicking a Wear It or Change It button. Stylists can leave a comment about an outfit and up-vote other comments. Those seeking critiques on a more intimate scale can create groups, called Personal Stylist Networks, and forgo sharing with the general public.
Honestly, the app is fun. I tested it for ten minutes and enjoyed being able to tell people what to wear and why they should wear it. But it’s hard to see the long-term value. How can this app scale?
GTIO hopes to answer that question through partnerships with retail brands Sephora and Gap, which are currently listed as featured stylists in the app. These partnerships provide a monetization route for GTIO, which will charge a brand to comment on outfits and suggest its own products.
According to a statement put out by GTIO, the app also provides access to “industry veterans normally out of reach.” I haven’t encountered them yet, but if GTIO brings in big names from the fashion industry, the app may gain more substance. Until these partnerships take footing, however, GTIO is a beefed up hot or not app at its core.
Hot or not apps traditionally have been a breeding ground for high-school style commentary on a person’s look, as opposed to their fashion.
“It’s not always easy to be tactful and helpful at the same,” said Evans (pictured at right). Instead of completely censoring unsavory judgments, GTIO sends a note to the commenter asking for more constructive thoughts next time.
Index Ventures, a lead in this round, also invested in fashion website Net-A-Porter and Etsy, a virtual marketplace often used by self-employed fashion designers.
Go Try It On will use the funding to enhance data analytics and create, what it calls, the Google Analytics for style. Former investor Alex Zubillaga and Danny Rimer of Index Ventures will join GTIO’s board.
The app launched in March 2010 and has since been downloaded 250,000 times. Investors in GTIO include Len Blavatnik and Alex Zubillaga, Index Ventures and others. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson of Gilt Groupe and Henrik Werdelin of PreHype act as board advisors.
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