Shopping for clothes on the iPad is great, except for one thing: All your favorite stores have different apps or web interfaces, which means you’re never able to shop and compare across multiple destinations. Monogram hopes to change that by launching an iPad app today that will aggregate looks and deals from a variety of retailers. And the startup has raised about $400,000 more in seed funding to get the app off the ground.
When we first talked to the Monogram founders, back at 500 Startups demo day, they were hoping to build an app that would not only bring together multiple fashion stores online, but also enable a more personalized shopping experience. For now, it’s putting the emphasis on personalization aside and focusing more on providing an editorially curated catalog of fashion. To do so, it’s partnering with influential fashion bloggers to highlight their favorite clothes and accessories on the app.
The result is a beautiful app that feels like you’re shopping from a traditional catalog. The only difference, of course, is that all items are immediately purchasable. The Monogram app includes apparel and accessories from stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Gilt, MyHabit, and Reebok, among others. But the startup is looking to add more: According to co-founder Leo Chen, Monogram should have items from up to 30 or 40 different retailers available within the next 4-6 weeks.
Users can click through to any item for larger images or video where available, and they can click to buy in-app. Doing so takes them to a browser that brings up an item from the retailer’s own site. To facilitate purchasing, Monogram stores all your login information for participating retailers after you’ve entered it. The business model is pretty straightforward: Monogram gets affiliate revenue from driving sales on retailer sites.
In addition to the launch, Monogram has increased the amount of funding that it had raised from the $840,000 we previously reported to $1.25 million. The round was led by Quest Venture Partners and includes participation from Great Oaks VC, Alexis Ohanian and Garry Tan’s Initialized Capital, 500 Startups, Chinese seed fund Innovation Camp, Yintai.com CEO Robin Liao, Rapportive CEO Rahul Vohra, Decide.com’s Brian Ma, and angel investors Jared Kopf Christina Brodbeck.
Monogram currently has five full-time employees, with its headquarters in San Francisco. But Chen is currently recruiting developers to work out of an office in Shanghai.