SalesGossip, a UK site that offers members exclusive access to fashion and beauty product sales, events and promotions, has closed a second angel round — the majority of which is effectively follow-on funding from existing investors. It’s raised £600,000 in new funding, adding to its initial angel round of £250,000 in late 2012.
Investors include Sean Phelan and Audrey Mandela (co-founders of Multimap.com, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2007), Andrew Grahame (co-founder of Mr and Mrs Smith), Mapamundi (a Spanish investment network), Colin Rushmer (MD of Global Reach Investments), Robin McIlvenny (Partner at Ptarmigan Capital Limited), and Stephen Bullock.
Founded in September 2011 by Zabetta Camilleri and Emilio Sanz, SalesGossip aims to solve a pain-point for fashion retailers — both offline and online — which is the difficulty they have with promoting and shifting discount stock and consumers’ lack of knowledge of when and where sales are taking place.
It does this by alerting members to discounts via personalised emails and SalesGossip’s desktop and mobile sites, based on their buying preferences. The idea is to give members the very first access to pop-up sales, flash sales, sample sales, seasonal reductions and discount codes before they are announced to the general public
“It’s that inside info that sets us apart from other fashion news sites. By becoming a member, you’ve got the inside track to your favourite stores’ sales and offers,” co-founder and CEO Zabetta Camilleri told me in late 2012.
SalesGossip claims 300,000 registered subscribers to its service, and says it features 900 brands (roughly 90% of the UK fashion & beauty retail sector, apparently). These include department stores such as John Lewis, M&S, Liberty and House of Fraser, online retailer Amazon, fashion stores Accessorize, Armani, Joseph, Net-a-Porter, Banana Republic, J Crew and Uniqlo, children and parenting stores Isabella Oliver, Petit Bateaux and Mothercare, as well as beauty stores such as L’Ocittane, Liz Earle, Boots and Clarins.
Notably, however, SalesGossip still doesn’t have native mobile apps (for iOS and Android, for example). It may have plugged the gap a little last year with a dedicated mobile web version of the site, including GPS support to locate local brick ‘n’ mortar sales, but the lack of an app store presence feels like a gaping omission.
To that end, the UK startups is talking up native apps as next on the roadmap, along with in-store promotions tracking and better data-mining to fine-tune the personalisation aspect of its sales alerts.
SalesGossip’s competitors would seem to fall into two camps. Flash sales sites, such as Cocosa et. al. which offer bulk discounted stock for sale online. There’s also some overlap with fashion blogs and news sites. In fact, SalesGossip places quite a lot of emphasis on editorial, something that it thinks, when mixed in with sales alerts, gives it an edge.