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Mallzee, a “Tinder for fashion” startup that aggregates online retailers’ inventory and lets users swipe to save their favorite garments, has raised $4 million (£2.5 million).
Founded out of Edinburgh, Scotland in 2013, Mallzee has been largely U.K.-focused since its launch, but it did release a version for the U.S. market back in November, just in time for Black Friday. Today, it claims a “six-figure” user base spread across 125 countries.
The app, available on Android and iOS, includes more than 100 retailers, and lets users create so-called “style feeds,” monitor price-drop alerts, and peruse style advice.
However, the one glaring omission in Mallzee’s offering so far has been e-commerce — the app merely links out to retailers’ websites to complete transactions. This is changing, however — starting today, Mallzee is opening up in-app purchasing to U.K. shoppers, with plans to bring this option to U.S. consumers by the end of the year.
Mallzee has raised $1.5 million in funding to date through a series of angel rounds, so today’s news takes the company past the magic $5 million mark.
Leading the investment round, perhaps surprisingly, is U.K. postal service company the Royal Mail Group, with contributions from the Scottish Investment Bank Par Equity, and a handful of entrepreneurs.
The company says the money will be used to “innovate the m-commerce space and scale its global offering.”
It’s worth noting that Mallzee rose to prominence briefly back in February when it entered the Dragons’ Den — a T.V. show better known as “Shark Tank” in the U.S. — requesting $115,000 in funding.
Tycoon Peter Jones offered CEO and founder Cally Russell the full amount, however, Jones asked for too much equity in return, leading Russell to walk away empty-handed. This appearance seems to have worked wonders for the company’s marketing machine, however, — Mallzee has been inundated with investment opportunities and approaches from retailers.
Also, shortly after the episode went to air, Mallzee revealed a tie-up with Samsung, a deal that will see the Mallzee Android app promoted through the Galaxy Apps store.
Though e-commerce is a conduit for Mallzee to make money, the company is, in turn, a data insight tool for retailers, revealing insights into what products people like and, well, don’t.
This week has been notable for Scottish startups. On Monday, FanDuel — a fantasy sports firm founded out of Edinburgh, Scotland, but which is now huge in North America — revealed it was acquiring Kotikan, an app-development agency also based in the capital city.
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