French startup AskAnna is hardly the first to develop a shopping-advice platform, but they have nonetheless found considerable demand in the year that they have operated in this market.
AskAnna’s platform, which is currently available on iOS, allows users to post pictures of items that they are considering buying and obtaining immediate feedback from a community. What is interesting here is that they have incorporated a swipe function, to allow reviewers to indicated their approval (or lack of) by swiping right and left. And then there is a chat system, for personalized recommendations.
AskAnna generates revenue by charging stores a monthly fee, as well as using an affiliation model for recommendations that are sent to a user, after having posted a product to the service and asked for advice from the community. The startup is also interested in a “product test” service for brands and retailers, in order to help them to pre-validate prototypes prior to mass-production.
AskAnna tells me that they released their app in the AppStore in June 2015 and it has taken off since then, with the startup now reporting more than 100K downloads. They also reveal that more than 15 million suggestions have been made through the platform.
This startup currently has big plans for the mobile and physical spheres. They are developing an Android app, which follows the already-released iOS version, and are revamping said iOS app. The target for unveiling both the Android and updated iOS apps is June. But they are also thinking about physical clothing stores, having just recently rolled out their platform to in-store connected-displays within the fitting room.
In terms of funding, the company tells me that they have picked up 360K Euro from a group of investors that includes acceleration programs like L’Accelerateur and Fashion Capital Partners, as well as undisclosed French angels.