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The social e-commerce site is backed by Valhalla Partners and angels
ShopSocially, a (you guessed it) social shopping site that lets users post shopping-related questions and share recent purchases on a Twitter-like feed, announced Thursday morning that it has raised $1.1 million in a Series A round led by Valhalla Partners, with participation from angel investors Raman Khanna, Ashish Gupta, and Dharmesh Thakker.
The concept behind ShopSocially is simple but compelling: consumers trust recommendations from friends over reviews and recommendations from strangers. Since launching in May 2010, the site has grown to support some 10,000 users, each of whom spend an average of four minutes on the site per visit. Each post receives, on average, three responses.
To create an account, a user need only type in an email address and connect via Facebook. The user can then invite email contacts and Facebook friends to the site to build a more personal network where friends can share and review recent purchases and ask other friends for shopping guidance. For example, I recently moved and I’m in the market for some new living room furniture. My friends know that I have two very active, filthy, ill-trained dogs. Solution: leather furniture (or something like it) that won’t stain.
Or users can simply pose their question or share a purchase with all of the other users on ShopSocially in a general news feed.
Why not just post these questions on Facebook or Twitter then? According to the company’s press release, ShopSocially users opt out of posting their questions or purchases on Facebook or Twitter more than 60% of the time. This makes sense, when you think about it. When you have hundreds of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, you certainly don’t trust all of them to give you sound shopping advice. Nor do you want to bore others with noisy status updates and posts about things you recently bought. Most people don’t care. Chances are, you know of a select group of friends who you would shop with, and that’s really what ShopSocially taps into.
“ShopSocially is playing in a $150 billion e-commerce market with an innovative social shopping platform for consumers to ask their friends for shopping recommendations and pro-actively make product recommendations after a purchase,” said Kiran Hebbar, Partner at Valhalla Partners, in a prepared statement. “We are excited about the investment because ShopSocially operates at the confluence of e-commerce and social marketing, both being multi-billion dollar markets that will continue to create massive opportunities for start-ups.”
ShopSocially founder and CEO Jai Rawat said in a phone interview that the company will be utilizing the new funds for product development and will debut a mobile app later this year.
Image source: shopsocial.ly
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