SeeMe, a design community that claims more than a million members, has launched its first mobile app on iOS, which can be used to take photos and turn them into T-shirts.
To be sure, there are tons of DIY T-shirt design companies out there, including SnapTee (which bases its business model on a mobile app), Andreessen Horowitz-backed Teespring, Spreadshirt, and Zazzle, but SeeMe hopes to differentiate with its shirts, which feature all-over designs. SeeMe has raised $4.2 million from Founder Collective, OATV, Betaworks, Lerer and other investors.
In other words, designers aren’t just designing T-shirts; they also create fabric designs with their uploaded photos and images.
“With over 1,000,000 members we have millions of incredible images that can’t (shouldn’t) be confined to a predefined square box on a t-shirt like you’ll find on most of the other sites or apps,” says founder William Etundi Jr. He adds that 200,000 of SeeMe’s members have already created shirt designs.
The company uses shirts from Vapor Apparel, a company that says its “mission to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint” and operates in LEED-certified facilities.
The app features a news feed of photos similar to Instagram, a discovery function, and social, allowing users to interact with one another and print T-shirts from other people’s images. Once a user chooses a photo, he or she can customize the T-shirt by deciding how the image is laid out, then place an order through the app. Each shirt costs $32. Revenue sharing is $6 to the creator of image for tees. Postcards are also available for $3, with the image creator getting $1.
The startup was founded as by former party producer Etundi Jr. Its COO is Jared Cohen, formerly Kickstarter’s operations lead. Etundi Jr. hopes that the ubiquity of photo-sharing apps like Instagram will help contribute to SeeMe’s growth.
“We now live in a world of images and we see our tees and postcards as the social object for our era, similar to Polaroids during their era,” he says. “I see a future where all types of people all around the world will want their images to live beyond the screen and they will be using SeeMe to do that.”