Millennials are Internet savvy and have the most purchasing power in the retail sector, spending over $200B annually. Hintd allows these savvy individuals to curate a customized shopping list on its platform to make the process of purchasing frictionless and centralized. Users can bookmark from anywhere on the web and the startup also curates collections. The shopping tool launched by the former editor of SELF magazine has just reached half a million subscribers.
AlleyWatch sat down with CEO Lucy Danziger to discuss her company and the future of social commerce.
Tell us about Hintd.
Hintd is a social shopping tool that lets users save what they want to customized lists so they can collect, discover and shop all in one place.
How is Hintd different?
As former magazine editors we curate shoppable content and combine it on the platform with user-generated content. Other sites require you to shop their ecosystem, but Hintd has a special uploader tool that pulls in anything from anywhere – places, things, if you can link it you can hint it.
What market does Hintd target and how big is it?
The market is the total retail shopping landscape and the 80 million millennials who spend over $200B a year on retail. And while they can upload experiences and shop for fitness classes or concert tickets, they are also spending more than the previous generation on retail. Millennials are careful shoppers, and Hintd lets them add the Why of the buy, with lists: Home décor, Spring Vacay, New Job Wardrobe, etc.
What is the business model?
We collect affiliate sales fees, and sponsorship fees for partner lists as well as allow financial services to use Hintd as a platform to better understand their customers. The eventual fourth stream will be data sets (not personally identifiable data) to help retailers customize their messaging and target those consumers who want to hear from them.
What inspired the business?
As Editor in Chief of Self I was sent impersonal thank you gifts like Orchids. I thought if everyone had a list of favorite charities, soap or things that are useful then I could save wasted money and time. My niece graduated college and we don’t give money, asked what she wanted and when she didn’t tell us she got nothing. So she made a list. She actually made a Power Point with links and pictures and funny captions. Voila Hintd was born. Later our Campus Ambassadors told us they weren’t waiting for a gifting occasion but using Hintd to keep track of what they wanted for later, and that way they didn’t lose their work and research of where they found items they loved on open tabs.
Your company recently participated in Peak Pitch. Would you tell us about your experience?
Other than the driving frozen rain / snow pelting me in the face? It was great, and I met quality people who I have followed up with. Mostly entrepreneurs but also a few investors.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We will reach 500,000 Hinters in our subscriber base, and become break even in our run rate as our sponsorship outpaces our lean and efficient burn (which is low and staying that way). The next milestone is to close a Seed round.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Raise money before you build. The way I’m doing it, is like swimming while someone throws you pieces of wood and you have to build your boat in the water. Impossible! And yet I’m building my boat. And it’s gonna be a winner.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Barry Diller. What he has built, and his innate understanding of the intersection of media and commerce, makes him a visionary, always ahead of the rest of the pack. I love the fact that he has no limits to his investment interest and makes smart, strategic decisions. I think Hintd and QVC could hold hands – as you shop you add items to your list. At the end of the hour, you buy one or more, but the more you buy the more you get a discount. Lets talk!
Why did you launch in New York?
Cause I’m a New Yorker. My great grandfather started Schulte Cigar Stores and they had a store on 42nd and Broadway, right where I worked at the Conde Nast building in 4 Times Square – I spent 10 of my 18 years at Conde there, the last 12 as Editor-in-Chief of SELF magazine. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Now I am doing it and I would not do it any other place. It’s also a city of reinvention, second acts and people allowing themselves to evolve and take on new challenges and adventures. That’s me.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
I love the Standard by the Highline because it seems to be where you can meet, drink, eat, celebrate and feel very much at home. It’s casual and fun. Eat outside or by the bar, in the big room or head to the rooftop. Great views of the Hudson where I swim in the NYC Tri. It just works.