Mark Twain, famous American author, once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” It can’t get any more true than that.
StreetGAGA is a Singapore-based fashion aggregator which focuses on female wear. Having its official launch in May, it has partnered up with 65 Daigou (the biggest there is in the city-state), a shopping agent for popular Chinese e-commerce site, Taobao. It also has its own online magazine which curates content from users’ posts. It now has a total of 80 merchants from Singapore, China and Korea on its site. Some of the names include Attaby, Inverted Edge and Damsel in DisDress (DIDD). They now have about more than 500 online registered users on the site.
With a team of eight full-timers, including three interns, the five co-founders shared that they are in the middle of fundraising with Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). The five co-founders are: Jerry Yip (CEO), Yang Mansheng (CTO), Betty Zhou (CSO), Yingming (Chief designer) and Jason (Senior backend developer). Betty also added that the current version of their site is still a “well-developed beta”, and users can look forward to more features and updates.
Both online and offline
Just because you’re a tech or Internet startup, it does not mean you have to be confined to the triple Ws. StreetGAGA recently organized their first offline campaign, Fashion Minute, in Singapore. Some 164 ladies were photographed with a blackboard that had the time on it. According to the startup, this included foreigners from Japan, Korea, Thailand, the UK and Brazil.
At the moment, they are also holding an online campaign, Fashion Lookbook Contest. Featuring a total of 15 blogshops and three outfit themes – ‘Back to School’, ‘Girl Next Door’ and ‘Girls’ Night Out’, it allows users to vote for their favorite outfit and win cash vouchers from local blogshops.
Singapore might have a plethora of blogshops, to the point some merchants are taking their apparels to the masses through retail shops. However, it is still lacking in aggregators which assist consumers to make better, more informed choices. KissJane is one. Founded by two Singaporean men in their thirties, the local blogshop aggregator has a total of three brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore.
Betty shared that while KissJane focuses on local merchants, with the likes of Megagamie and Dressabelle, StreetGAGA has a larger supplier scope, ranging from merchants in China, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. She also stressed that “StreetGAGA is the product of mobile Internet,” and that “its product design aims to seamlessly integrate into the mobile devices.” With that in mind, they are working on launching their iOS app in two months, and finishing up app development for the Android platform. Seems like a good move, given how many of these e-commerce sites have not ventured past their little storefront on the web.
Even though many females might be on the interwebs scouring for snazzy buys, it also seems good content is the number one key to drawing them in. StreetGAGA’s media property consists of an editorial team which curates and builds style guides for their users. Even though they are just an aggregator for many of these fashion e-commerce companies, having editorial content gives them value and credibility build their user base and get more merchants on board.
StreetGAGA has a monetization model which might seem attractive to merchants based in the city-state. “Currently, we are offering free rates for Singapore merchants to get a merchant account and upload their products on our website till the end of this year. It’s five percent commission rate for international merchants,” said Betty over email. She added that there are currently three phases. The first phase would see a commission fee of each transaction on their website. The second would see the usual commission fee with the extra advertisement income. Lastly, phase three entails a commission fee, advertisement income and an extra traffic exporting income. She explained that with each visit they bring to vendors, they charge an undisclosed rate, which makes up the traffic exporting income.
In the next six months…
The goal for the year ahead, according to Betty, is to partner 150 shops here in Singapore, and expand to other Southeast Asian countries. She said, “Currently we are still considering Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. We are considering the factors like market size of fashion industry, the development of e-commerce and the competitors in the countries. At this moment, we are still doing research on these three countries.”
Features in the pipeline include image search, segmentation, recommendations based on preferences and auto-enhancement, which I think will help them in their plans to get 10,000 users on board.
In any case, let’s hope Lady Gaga wouldn’t come after this startup. We all know what she does to businesses with the word “Gaga” in their product titles.