This is how you swipe your favorite brands – and it’s all legal. In fact, it’s revolutionary, and we’ll explain:
Spring is a mobile marketplace where customers shop directly within the app from a curated community of brands. Driven by a vision to create an elevated, easy-to-use shopping experience, Spring offers a mix of luxury labels, emerging designers, fast-fashion, and everything in between. Brands post new arrivals daily and customers can purchase items with a single swipe.
Talk about having the world at your fingertips! The fashion world, anyway, including one-of-a-kind items only available on the Spring platform.
But Spring also eliminates the middleman: purchases are made directly through the brands (who then deliver the goods as well; Spring holds no inventory), but everything is integrated into seamlessly into the app, so you’d never know it, which makes for a very smooth customer experience.
Didn’t we mention that it’s revolutionary?
Think of Spring as your personal concierge, who’s curating the best on the market for you.
Cofounder and CEO Alan Tisch goes into the details and yes, his brother and Box Group founder David Tisch invested (again) in this latest round of funding. As it should be: he’s also a Spring cofounder.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Spring has raised $25M in a Series B financing round. The round was led by BoxGroup, joined by Yuri Millner, Groupe Arnault, Google Ventures, Thrive Capital, Silas Chou, and a great group of angels and other funds that are continuing to support the company.
Tell us about your service.
Spring is a mobile marketplace where customers shop directly within the app from a curated community of brands. Within the app, users can follow the brands they like to personalize their feed; love items to save them for later; and shop curated collection and one-of-a-kind items only available on Spring. Customers shop directly from their feed with a single swipe. As a marketplace, Spring holds no inventory. Instead, Spring’s revolutionary technology integrates with a brand’s existing e-commerce system to create a truly seamless experience.
What inspired you to start the company?
We found ourselves increasingly frustrated with mobile commerce options that included downloading multiple apps and visiting mobile e-commerce sites with clunky checkout experiences; we knew there had to be a better way to shop from our favorite brands on our phones. We wanted to create something that translated the entertaining experience of shopping in real life to mobile and combined the excitement of discovering a brand you didn’t know you loved with the ease and immediacy of mobile technology.
How is it different?
Unlike other shopping experiences, Spring’s community of brands reflect how consumers actually shop, from luxury labels to beauty, emerging designers to fast fashion. Many brands on Spring are selling exclusives, limited editions, collaborations, one of a kinds, and pieces from their archives – so there’s a lot you can’t find anywhere else. We’re also really focused on storytelling and delivering our customers compelling content that elevates their experience.
Customers purchase items directly from brands with a single swipe, and our goal was to make the entire experience as seamless as possible. To help with this, we built a customer service team dedicated to supporting our brands and customers. Though each item is purchased directly from the brands, our team serves as a concierge to solve any issue that might arise quickly and easily.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We’re targeting the modern high/low shopper, with a strong sense of style, who buys key pieces from aspirational and luxury labels and mixes in contemporary and high street brands. Currently, only 9% of the retail market is currently online – we see a huge growth opportunity there.
What’s your business model?
It’s free for brands to join Spring, and we take a small transaction fee on purchases. We focused our fee structure around creating the best customer experience, so if a brand offers things customers love like free shipping and exclusives, their fee is lower. Our cut is low enough to allow brands to recognize direct-to-consumer margins while still being able to be a part of a growing larger community.
What was the funding process like?
We were fortunate that our existing investors are aligned with our long-term vision, and all wanted to offer additional support to help us realize this vision. This. coupled with interest from an incredible group of new investors, made the process a relatively quick and exciting one.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The biggest challenge was taking time away from the team and the day-to-day operations of Spring to focus on raising the round. Fundraising can be a distraction: every hour you spend meeting with investors is one less hour with your team or customers.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Their belief in our team, and the incredible market opportunity. Mobile is still in its infancy and we believe we’re building something really exciting.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Since launching last summer, Android has been the number one incoming request from users. Our vision with Spring is to make shopping as simple and accessible as possible, and this is an important step toward that goal, so we are excited to be launching Spring for Android today. We’re also working to develop a simplified web interface, which will be an entirely new shopping experience, as well as introducing brands’ full product catalogs and continuing to bring on incredible brands to add to the Spring community.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Since launch, Spring has expanded from 150 brands to over 750 brands. We launched with just over two thousand products and now offer customers nearly 20,000 different SKUs. We want to continue this growth and make shopping as simple and accessible as possible. Our priority is to continue to integrate more brands and products into our interface and optimize the experience for both our customers and the brands on Spring. We’ll also be expanding into new categories and focusing on improved customer service.
In your estimation, what’s the best spot in NYC for a taking a warm weather break?
A walk along the water on the West Side Highway.