Pinterest rival Fancy, which thinks it has figured out social commerce (or at least, before Pinterest did), is announcing today that it has reached 1 million users as well as an average of $50,000 worth of commerce through its service each week. To help further grow its shopping platform, which initially debuted in February of this year, the company has also updated its iOS application. The app doesn’t just support browsing and liking images (you “fancy” things, actually) as before, but adds the ability to purchase items directly from the app itself.
The Fancy, (or just “Fancy,” as it’s sometimes called), at first glance, seems to be just another Pinterest-like image-sharing site. But there are several key differences between the two social services. For starters, while Pinterest skews heavily female, Fancy reports a more even split – at the beginning of the year, around 60% of its users were male, in fact. Today, it’s about 55% male to 45% female.
The company has also been more focused on commerce from the get-go, instead of trying to figure it out after the fact. On Fancy, participating merchants (there are now 2,000, up from 400 in February) can claim a post as the only one who can sell against it on a first-come, first-serve basis, following light vetting. That means they could sell their own product, if that’s the image which happens to be trending, or they can use the popular image to promote a related product or offering. (e.g. Beautiful hotel shot? Book a trip; Awesome concept watch? This is similar, buy it now). Plans for a more Google-like bidding system is in the works.
The company has several impressive backers, including top VCs Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Allen & Co., General Catalyst, Esther Dyson, Celtics owner Jim Pallotta, MTV creator Bob Pittman, former eBay COO Maynard Webb, Eric Eisner, Jeff Samberg, and Ashton Kutcher. Another big investor is PPR, the $25 billion French firm run by Francois Henri-Pinault which owns some of the biggest fashion brands in the world, including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. Through that relationship, high fashion sites now have social commerce integrations courtesy of Fancy, including Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and others.
More recently, the company partnered with Oscar de la Renta, which debuted a t-shirt from its spring collection on the site, and sold over $10,000 worth in the first week. That’s only five t-shirts ($2,499 ea.) but still, the movement managed to surprise Oscar de la Renta chief exec Alex Bolen. Now, says Fancy CEO Joe Einhorn, the company is poised to announce partnerships between some of the biggest names in fashion for an event around the upcoming fashion week.
Fancy is also growing quite a bit, up from 250,000 registered users fancying 1 million+ products per week in February to 1 million users fancying items 3 million times per week today.
The new iOS apps (iPhone and iPad) are out now. In addition to the social commerce features, they also offer a redesigned user interface and even a new icon. You can grab the apps from here in iTunes.