Founded in July 2015 by Ashutosh Pandey, Nithin Kaimal, Shishir Maheshwari and Amit Gupta, WithMe is a social networking app focused on fashion. People have a lot to choose from while shopping online, or at stores or even while putting together their look at home. A lot of them are looking for a quick nod from someone to make sure they’ve got their look right. WithMe helps you get that quick feedback from friends, fashion experts and communities.
It is attempting to solve the issue of indecisiveness which a buyer usually goes through while shopping, owing to the confusions caused by multiple options that lie in front of them.
The company which is based out of Gurgaon and Mumbai, claims to be targeting a $ 100 billion market across apparel, beauty, jewelery and other fashion categories in India. “The need we are addressing is global – we plan to take the product to other markets over time”, said Ashutosh.
How does WithMe Work?
ASK YOUR QUESTION: Click one or more pics and ask your question. Select ONLY your close friends, experts AND/OR other users for views. Your responses will keep coming in even if your friends don’t have the app on their phone.
STYLE EXPERTS: You can also chat away with the WithMe certified fashion experts like renowned models, fashion designers, stylists and bloggers to back you up with the right advice.
BUILD YOUR CLOSET: Liked a look? Add it to your closet so you have a wish list for your next shopping trip.
BROWSE: Check out what your friends, models, fashionistas and other users are buying and sporting.
The business model involves revenues from brands interested in targeting WithMe’s users.
As per the company, the initial 1200 users have already created over 5500 posts; these posts have had over 104K engagement (votes, chats).
The Android App has 100-500 downloads as yet, and is rated 4.6 on Play Store. The platform has also launched its iOS App. However, it has not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of application.
The startup has raised Rs. 1.5 crores from angels investors including Alex Kuruvilla, Pradeep Guha, Saket Dhankar and Rajan Pandhare.
About the Founders
The four co-founders have 10-15 years of experience each in starting, operating and investing in ventures. Ashutosh Pandey was CEO & a founding member of Emergent Ventures India (EVI), a cleantech energy advisory firm. He is an engineer from HBTI Kanpur and an MBA from IIM Calcutta.
Nithin Kaimal has eight years of investment experience across IDFC PE and NSR and has been involved in creating marque ventures like Green Infra (sold to SembCorp) and PNB Housing Finance (sold to Carlyle). Prior to that he worked with McKinsey for over five years. He is a gold medalist chartered accountant and an IIM Calcutta alumnus.
Amit Gupta is a tech entrepreneur. He has created two profitable multinational IT businesses and has been the key architect of complex multi-tech platforms over the last 12 years. His IT infra leasing business was acquired by a leading US-Canadian firm in 2010. He is an MBA from XLRI.
Shishir Maheshwari has eight years of investment experience at IDFC PE. He has been involved in incubating and scaling up ventures like Green Infra and StarAgri. Prior to that, he helped develop the “Starbus” fleet at Tata Motors. He is gold medalist Mechanical Engineer from Pantnagar University and an MBA from XLRI.
WithMe is competing with the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, basically all social networking platforms which are fostering fashion blogging and fashion consulting. Other apps like Styledotme, Stylecracker etc., could as well be considered as its indirect competitors, let alone the line of AI-based fashion advisory apps which are solving pretty much the same problem. Nevertheless, it is too early to pass a verdict, because an app like this, takes time for user acquisition. So, we can only wait and look forward to a disruptive innovation which might be on its way.
Check out this video for your understanding: