Social shopping app Strut just closed on $1.5 million in funding to bulk up its team over the next six to nine months. Khosla Ventures led the round.
Strut may seem like a shopping app, but really it’s a social platform that supports shopping. It’s hard to know exactly what Strut is, because it hasn’t launched yet. But, its goal is to be more like Vogue than to innovate on the shopping experience.
“Most of the social commerce companies are trying to innovate around the buy button. We’re thinking about the next great network or platform,” Strut co-founder Mark Daniel told VentureBeat. Instead of focusing on how consumers can buy products in app, Daniel is integrating shopping cart service Two Tap (also funded by Kholsa Ventures) to take care of the buying component of his site. Meanwhile he’s developing Strut into a shoppable pinboard like Pinterest.
“How often to you look at or research or fantasize about luxury clothing? That’s like every day for a whole lot of people, especially girls like my sister who’s 16,” said Daniel.
Rather than capitalize on the commerce aspect of shopping, Daniel is zeroing in on how people make purchases: through research, and sharing links, and pining over them. You may not be able to afford that Chloe handbag now, but you may want to save for it and see if your friends think it’s worth a purchase. Strut essentially aims to recreate the sensation of flipping through fashion magazines and creating an imaginary wardrobe with product feeds, collections, and direct messaging to friends.
Strut was founded at the tail end of Daniel’s time at the Thiel Fellowship in 2013. He teamed up with co-founder Nate Chiger, whose previous startup PanoPerfect (like Instagram for panoramas, I’ve been told) won an Apple Design Award in 2014.
Chiger and Daniel plan on quietly launching the app in October with a big advertising push closer to the holidays.
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