Hey, remember those Italian guys who spent 2 years trying to get their startup funded in Italy and raised $101K in 19 days when they arrived in the States? There’s a tendency on this side of the Atlantic to criticize European investors but it turns out they may not be so different from their American counterparts after all. The proof? It has just surfaced that Jimmy Fairly – a brand new “buy one give one” startup that was born at Startup Weekend Toulouse in November – managed to score €200K in just 3 weeks.
Jimmy Fairly’s site officially goes online today. The company is very similar to New York-based startup Warby Parker, which gives a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold on the site. And the similarities between the 2 companies do not stop there; both startups are going after Zappos-inspired customer service to get clients hooked on their already honorable businesses. For exemple, Jimmy Fairly is offering free shipping, free corrective lenses and free trials for 4 days for up to 4 different glasses.
While Warby Parker has already provided some 30,000 free glasses to people in need around the world, Jimmy Fairly is partnering with 2 French NGOs – Voir la Vie and Peuples d’Himalaya – to do the same.
So what’s the magic recipe that allows these “buy one give one” companies to sell glasses for €95 or $95 and give give give? Warby Parker explains on its site that they simply “cut out the middlemen”. That means they can subtract the high licensing fees and bypass the high-prices of optical shops thanks to their independent web-based approach.
I guess it’s no wonder that Jimmy Fairly managed to attract European investors Oleg Tscheltzoff, Fabrice Grinda, José Marin and Céline Lazorthes so quickly. So next time you want to buy some glasses with the “Made in France” label and do something good at the same time, consider Jimmy Fairly. All glasses are designed and produced in France and sold exclusively online and in the company’s Parisian boutique.