The Calgary, Canada-based fashion network BeauCoo, which aims to connect women with other women who share a similar body type to make online and offline shopping more social, fun and practical, launched as a mobile-only service late last year, but the team has now decided to also embrace the web. BeauCoo, which raised a $1.1 million seed round led by Zinc Ventures last September, is launching its full web presence today, which, just like the mobile site, is only open to women.
The idea behind BeauCoo is to connect women who are alike in shape or size, allowing them to compare different styles, brands and stores by sharing photos of each other. As BeauCoo co-founders Christian and Victoria MacLean told me earlier this week, the service has been growing quickly since launch and is currently seeing sustained 100 percent month-over-month growth rates. Half of the service’s active users spend between 3 and 10 minutes per session on the mobile app, and those who had access to the beta version of the website spent closer to 30 minutes per session with the service.
“I’ve struggled to ﬁnd clothes for my body type in the past and it led me to online communities of other women facing the same problem,” explains co-founder Victoria MacLean. “Society has women thinking there is only one body type to aspire to – when in reality there are many and they’re all to be celebrated.” The BeauCoo team, the MacLeans told me, aims to make the service as safe and comfortable as possible and BeauCoo’s focus on promoting a body positive online community seems to be paying off.
As for the website itself, the one thing the founders were surprised about during the beta test was how well the larger images on the web resonated with their users. The web version, the founders also noted, will open the service up to more users, too, and once the team enables the ability to upload photos over the web in the next few days, the desktop version will have virtually the same feature set as the mobile app.
After launching the web site, the BeauCoo team is now working on its Android app, which it hopes to launch within the next few weeks. After that, the service plans to soon launch its API, which will allow online vendors to tap into BeauCoo and its social network to improve content discovery on their sites. As Christian MacLean told me, being able to connect shoppers with their “body doubles” on BeauCoo could not just improve sales for these sites, but also reduce the number of returns, too.
For the time being, the BeauCoo team remains focused on female shoppers (it uses Facebook Connect to keep out men). The team is considering to allow its female users to invite their significant others to the service at some point in the future. A male-only version of BeauCoo, however, isn’t currently on the roadmap.