Online retailer with a twist BagThat soft-launches with £2m in funding

BagThat, a new online store that aims to leverage social networks to benefit consumers and suppliers alike through the power and economics of collective buying, this morning announced funding of £2 million from a private EIS fund.

BagThat debuts today on a limited basis and will officially launch in January 2012. Already, the fledgling company has signed up Halfords, Thomas Cook, Neilsons and Champneys; the first of apparently many high street brands to join the venture.

BagThat is not your typical online retailer though, as the ecommerce company will offer a range of branded products for sale, but will ask consumers what they are willing to pay rather than setting a firm price.

By aggregating individual requests from – it hopes – thousands of consumers, BagThat will work with retailers to offer the ‘best possible price’ to the maximum number of people.

Think of it as a hybrid that combines the best of both auction-based and group buying sites.

See this inexplicably non-embeddable video to learn more about BagThat.

Admirably, BagThat is committed to giving 5 percent of its net proceeds to charity. Charities will include Malaria No More, The ForceSelect Foundation, and The Phoenix Foundation.