There are all sorts of ways to search for and buy stuff online and on the iPad. The experience is totally fragmented — you basically have to shop brand by brand to scan what you like, and there’s no filter to highlight objects that might be of most interest to you. But what if there were an app that showed you things from multiple brands that you actually wanted to buy?
That’s what the new Pickie iPad app tries to do by providing a personalized commerce experience. It shows users cool new apparel and other stuff that they will be interested in, as well as those suggested by their friends. We covered Pickie back when it was part of the TechStars Demo Day, but it’s come a long way since then. For one thing, the app is finally becoming available on the Apple App Store. And the startup has raised $1 million from a group of investors.
Pickie is designed as part magazine, part catalog — basically allowing users to find items based on their own brand affinities, as well as suggestions from their friends. When users first sign in to Pickie, they connect to Facebook, and the app scans info from their own personal Likes and those from their social connections. They can also choose relevant brands within the app.
The idea is to give each user a personalized shopping experience, ensuring that the content and items that are being offered up are relevant. No two Pickies will be alike, co-founder Sonia Nagar told me. At the same time that the app provides items based on users’ explicit choices, the app also highlights content that is trending based on aggregate social data. And Pickie provides its own editorially curated content which seamlessly sits alongside content that is recommended based on users’ preferences.
Part of the appeal is that Pickie isn’t just an app for discovery, but that all the items within the app can actually be purchased. There are lots of shopping apps that will tell you about interesting products, but not all are set up to actually let you make purchases based on your personal preferences.
It’s that mix of personalization and commerce that’s got investors excited: Pickie has raised $1 million from a number of investors. That includes DFJ Gotham, Betaworks, Liberty City Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, MESA+, and angel investors such as Jon Steinberg, David Tisch, Lars Albright, Andy Miller, Steven Rosenblatt, and Eric Stein.