People spend a lot of time browsing on Pinterest. Fine, but what if you want to buy something you see? We know – happens all the time. That’s what Browsy is all about. It’s an automated solution that instantly imports your pins, identifies the products and searches the web to find the best prices.
Makes sense. Saves dollars. Gotta love that!
Co-founder Sonali Pillay tells us how she plans on making millions and millions of Pinterest browsers a lot happier.
Tell us about the decision to apply for DreamIt Accelerator.
In the last few years, fashion-tech has blossomed. Along with the maturing of the industry has come incredibly high expectations – both on the part of your users and potential investors.
Our team at Browsy applied to DreamIt hoping to get a 90-day stress test from a network of founders, investors, and practitioners who could help ensure we build both the best product possible for our users, as well as a tenable business.
Tell us about your product.
Browsy is attacking Pinterest’s $8 billion missed commerce opportunity by making pins shoppable – we’ll identify the fashion products in your pins and help you find them at the lowest price available.
How is it different?
Currently, 50% of Pinterest pins lead to expired links, making it nearly impossible to shop on the platform or even identify key product information that will help you make a purchase.
Other existing product identification tools like ASAP54 and The Hunt rely on a network of stylists or their user base to help you identify the products in images you upload. The trouble with these sites is that it requires time to upload images one-by-one, on top of the wait time for often inaccurate responses.
Browsy is an automated solution that instantly imports your Pinterest pins, identifies the products within them and searches the web for great prices. Our user experience is less time-consuming and more accurate.
We have attached Browsy to the Pinterest platform because it has quickly become the home for discovery. Our users have already curated lists of the things they love and now just need us to plug into those lists or ‘boards’ to help them make a purchase.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
This is an $8 billion opportunity. There are 70 million Pinterest users, 60% of whom have made a purchase inspired by a pin (usually not through the platform, because commerce isn’t enabled). Interestingly, these users spend $199 per purchase on average, nearly $100 more than Facebook’s users. During ‘discovery mode,’ users are in an impulse-buy mindset, but they currently lack the tools to make a purchase.
What is the business model?
We make a commission from all traffic and purchases we drive to e-commerce stores. We are also modeling a revenue stream that allows companies or individuals (e.g., fashion bloggers) to reclaim lost commissions from unattributed images on Pinterest.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
We launched our alpha version on June 16th and our beta on June 30th. Over the next six months, we hope to saturate the “Women’s Fashion” category on Pinterest with our helpful buy-links and develop partnerships with influencer advocates.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community, who would it be and why?
Joanne Wilson. We’ve found the best feedback we receive is from people who have one foot firmly in the technology world and the other firmly in the fashion world. Joanne’s background and investments encompass both.
What is your take on the current scene in New York today?
Startups have become ubiquitous. Just look at the way even Wall Street is transforming into a startup hub. Great companies are going to be built here increasingly frequently. But, with the maturing of the tech scene comes a different set of problems – like how to rise above the noise.
How will being in NYC help your startup?
Being a part of a vibrant tech scene is key, but so is proximity to the brands and retailers we are trying to connect our customers to. We can’t imagine building this company anywhere else.
Where’s your new favorite place to hang out downtown?
Smith & Mills. It’s garage-chic meets great cocktails in Tribeca.