The fashion industry in India contributes so much to the world of fashion with its diverse cultural influences that are absolutely unique to the country. With online startups and e-commerce websites cropping up all over the place in light of the digital revolution, there have been some very innovative developments in the world of fashion, as a result.
Some of the most successful examples of such innovation are as follows.
Inspired by AirBnB’s business model while attending an Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University, IIT Bombay graduates Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana and Tushar Saxena founded Flyrobe in September 2015.
India’s first and largest high-end fashion rental service, Flyrobe started with a beta website in June 2015 and after getting positive responses from potential audiences, launched its Android app in September, the very same year. With 75,000 downloads on the Google Play Store and a 4.3 rating, Flyrobe is now leading the way for renting high-end fashion in India.
Another IIT graduate project, Roposo is a fashion oriented social networking site that was launched in July 2014. IIT graduates, Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena and Kaushal Shubhank founded the ever growing fashion site that utilizes geo-tagging alongside profiling based on photos to serve up locally relevant content to users.
With 2 million users, including brands such as Maybelline and Vero Moda as well as several celebrities, Roposo has a Snapstory-esque format and serves as a marketplace for fashion as well. They hope to expand beyond fashion and soon cater to the markets for lifestyle, travel and food.
Headquartered in Bangalore with offices in Mumbai and Delhi, Wooplr is a “fashion discovery app” founded in 2013 by Arjun Zacharia, Praveen Rajartnam, Soumen Sarkar and Ankit Sabharwal. Much like Roposo in its intent, Wooplr however, helps users shop by using algorithms that log their tastes to create personalized look-books for them that redirects them to the sites where they can buy the clothes that they like.
Wooplr has been making headlines for roping in investments in the millions. With 2 million customers and 20,000 monthly transactions, their CEO hopes to hit a 100 million GMV by the year 2018.
Born from a brainstorming session between founders, Siddhartha Nangia and Swagata Sarangi, in May 2016, Smytten seeks to fill gaps in the luxury brand market in India.
An invite only app, Smytten profiles customers based on their digital footprints and presents them with ads in a non-intrusive way. It is a one of a kind platform meant for discovering, trying and purchasing select, curated luxury products and services. Having recently achieved financial backing from Rajan Anand, MD of Google South Asia, Smytten plans to transform the luxury product market in India.
Jasmeet Thind, co-founded of CoutLoot along with Mahima Kaul, Sahil Khimavat and Vinit Jain. Inspired by Facebook groups and Instagram pages that facilitate selling of old clothing and high-end fashion, CoutLoot now not only serves as a marketplace for the fashion forward but also curates and sells fashion from celebrity closets.
Having started off with the project while still in college, CoutLoot has grown over the years with their seller pickup services having expanded to several Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in India.
Founded by Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan, Voonik combines an online marketplace with a ‘virtual dressing room’. Having started operations based in Bangalore in 2013, they acqui-hired TrialKart in 2015 in order to incorporate their in-app trial services into their shopping capabilities.
Having raised $5 million in funding from various corporations, Voonik is looking to revolutionize e-commerce in India by letting people shop according to their skin-tone, body type and size. It allows them to virtually try on the clothes they purchase on their phones.
Founded by Ankur Gupta and Nayan Kumar, VioletStreet was created with the intention of emulating the social experience of physically going shopping while shopping online. A Hyderabad based start-up founded in 2013, VioletStreet also capitalized on the look-book format, utilizing algorithms that suggest pairings for users’ chosen clothing.
VioletStreet was once creating 100 looks a day and getting 20,000 unique visitors a day. They are now operating a fashion and lifestyle news website.
LimeRoad is yet another shopping website that infuses online shopping with a social experience. Founded by Suchi Mukherjee, Prashant Malik and Ankush Mehra in 2011, LimeRoad is based in Gurgaon. With a Pinterest-like format, the site caters to women and has grown to be a well-known name in Indian online shopping.
Having started off with the aim of creating a new age version of the 16th century Grand Trunk Road, LimeRoad raised $30 million dollars worth of funding during their third phase of gathering investors.