Wooplr will use the funds for product development and marketing, a top executive of the company said.
“Anand is a visionary who knows how to build products. Given his participation, we will be able to learn from his experience and tap into his wide network to grow,” Arjun Zacharia, co-founder and chief executive officer of Wooplr, said in a telephone interview.
Chandrasekaran has invested $25,000-30,000 as part of a larger funding round, in which Wooplr raised less than $1 million from Astarc Ventures in October.
Bengaluru-based Wooplr is a consumer content-driven marketplace, where users upload their pictures in an outfit. Other users can then engage with the image, by liking it and following the user, find brands which are selling similar outfits and make a purchase from the mobile app or Wooplr’s website.
“We have built a recommendation algorithm that identifies what the user is wearing in the picture—if it is a top, what colour it is; what type and colour of pants, and then displays a list of similar products sourced from the inventory of over 400 brands with whom we (Wooplr) have partnered,” said Zacharia.
Wooplr has three million users, out of which a million are active. Three-to-five per cent of the users upload images, of whom over 10,000 are called influencers. There are at least 5,000 followers who regularly upload images.
An average user visits the app 12 times a month, each session lasting for six minutes. The majority of users are from Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai, generating 200,000 posts per month.
Zacharia declined to share the order volume, but said that up to 65% of the purchase is based on what the influencers post, with an average order value of Rs900. The company makes money by charging 20% of the order value as commission from the brands.
It also has brands work with influencers. “Over 100 brands like Forever21, Zara, Nykaa, Koovs have worked with our influencers. They (brands) realize the importance of users relating to such influencers, who can promote fashion in context. Such collaboration has huge revenue potential (for Wooplr) and for the brands to create awareness,” said Zacharia.
Such brand collaborations contribute 15% of the revenue. The company aims to grow the influencer community to over 50,000 by December 2017.
Sreedhar Prasad, partner Internet commerce, KPMG, points out that such user-led e-commerce needs to ensure sufficient supply of content (images) to keep user engagement intact. “The content-generated commerce needs to ensure a (regular) supply of content to make a customer hook on to the platform. Also ensure that (the) brands have an inventory that matches the outfit because what outfit will show up (in a picture) is unpredictable,” Prasad added.