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News  10, Aug 2011

Echelon 2011 alumni FashionSpace secures seed funding from Crystal Horse Investments

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Echelon 2011 happened almost two months ago and we have just received news that one of our exhibitors, FashionSpace, recently secured a seed funding round from newly established Singapore-based angel investment group Crystal Horse Investments.

e27 caught up with FashionSpace’s co-founder and Space Captain, Danielle Siauw, to find out more about their product, the funding received and other plans.

Tell as a little bit about FashionSpace

FashionSpace is an online publishing platform that lets users discover and curate the latest trends, products and brands from the best retailers and indie designers around the world. It is also a place where fashion brands and fashionistas create their own social fashion magazine.

There are three types of users – fashion merchants, publishers and members. Fashion merchants are able to showcase their products and to create their own lookbook. Publishers are the bloggers or any traditional magazines who are interested to curate and create content for their own blogs or websites. Members are anyone who are interested in fashion, browsing and shopping.

Fashionspace is a combination of many things:

- a site filled with user-generated magazines, meaning any one is able to create their own magazines and create pages with their own content or using our merchants’ products.

- it is a social media, like Facebook, but dedicated to fashion. We have all the social elements like social bookmarking and social sharing tools like widgets. Widgets are actually user-generated banners using content from our site. We are also integrated with facebook via facebook connect. We want our users’ content to be as viral as possible in the most creative way.

- It is a search engine for fashion. We aggregate fashion-related products so that our users can search for the items they want from multiple sources all at once. We have a cost-per-click advertising program where merchants’ with the highest marketing dollars with us will be ranked highest on the search engine be showcased on our homepage.

- It is an affiliate marketing platform where users get a share of our advertising revenue through our search engine marketing platform by publicising our merchants’ products in their own magazines or on their blogs/Facebook/websites using our widgets. A cost-per-click will be incurred if the users’ readers click on to the widgets and redirects to the merchants’ ecommerce site. See it as an advertising matchmaker between fashion merchant and the users.

How is it different from other fashion sharing services out there?

Fashionspace.com allows users to play both fashion editor and reader by creating their own digital ‘social magazine’ —  where they have the ability to incorporate videos, images, content and e-commerce links into embeddable widgets that exist both onsite and across multiple platforms. We want our content to go beyond just Fashionspace.com, we want all the magazines and products to be highly interactive and shareable on other social networks and websites.

What sets Fashionspace.com apart from other online publishing tools is the built-in Affiliate Program where users also have the opportunity to earn cash and rewards based on the curation of products from partnering merchants and popularity of their magazines.

How is user response for the beta?

We have over 30 merchants onboard. In terms of users, we have more than 500 members onboard since launch. We have not done any marketing launch now as we have just collated feedback on what’s working and what’s not. We are in the 2nd phase now where we are enhancing the site based on the feedback.

Tell us about your funding round with Crystal Horse Investments.

We got S$250,000 funding from Crystal Horse Investments (CHI). All I can say is that I have a very fair agreement with CHI in which I am given majority ordinary shares.

How is the fund being used to further develop FashionSpace?

We have spent quite a bit on the development of the site, sales and content creation at this point. We will be allocating more funds to marketing once our site is enhanced.

Future plans for FashionSpace?

We are talking to a few potential partners for technology and marketing to further improve our offering. One of which is launching our eccommerce platform and also using innovative third party solution to further improve the usability of our site. We will be exploring mobile apps as well.

We are also looking to partner with traditional fashion magazines. There are also plans to increase our pool of merchants to include regional and international brands.

Where are you planning to monetize from?

We hope our affiliate marketing programme can start to drive more revenue for us. We are also planning to sell campaigns to fashion houses using our site.

Updates: FashionSpace is currently looking to hire a Drupal/PHP developer to maintain their website. For those interested, do contact Danielle at danielle [at] fashionspace [dot] com.

Joash Wee

Joash Wee

Joash is passionate about tech startups and building the technopreneur community. While completing his undergraduate business degree, he decided to take a programming class just for kicks. Fortunately for him, he managed to scrap a pass and it now helps him get by with the geek talk. When he is not discussing about startups or the latest technologies, you can find him reading off his Kindle or taking photos with silver halide salts, old school.

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