The List joins the social commerce movement with a new app connecting consumers with global luxury brands and retailers to offer a personalized discovery and shopping experience.
Focused on sourcing hard-to-find items, the app launch is buoyed by $3.5 million in seed funding backed by a group including American Designer and Rachel Zoe, who is both an investor and advisor to the New York-based company.
The List, with offices in Dubai and Lisbon, was founded in 2016 as an e-commerce marketplace and works with authorized, professional sellers. Its new app is an extension of the marketplace, merging content, social networking and live commerce.
“The foundation of our business is to help retail stores and brands join the e-commerce wave that is happening,” The List founder and CEO Andreas Skorski told TechCrunch. “We built machine learning and computer vision into the supply chain so they can plug and play into a store. We also have multiple APIs to sync and digitalize inventory to create a product catalogue.”
App features include the ability to livestream with a retailer, brand or personal shopper, ask questions in real time and receive recommendations or in-store presentations. Shoppers can follow their favorite brands and stores and engage when images or videos are shoppable. They can also upload a photo of an item to the seller network and get its sourced fast and at the best possible price.
On the seller side of the app, you can set up a digital store in minutes and determine how their brand and products will be presented and promoted. The List takes care of the entire fulfilment process, including insurance, taxes and duties, as well as store-to-door express delivery to 190 countries.
For years, China led in social commerce, but it became a more popular concept in the United States during the global pandemic. As such, Grand View Research reported earlier this year that the global social commerce market was forecasted to reach $3.4 trillion by 2028 from growing annually by over 28% between now and then.
Social commerce is also proving to be global, with companies across the world finding success is this sector and attracting venture capital to back it up. For example, in November, Facily, a Brazil-based social commerce marketplace, closed on a $250 million Series D round. Prior to that, Evermos an Indonesian social commerce startup, raised $30 million in Series B funding.
Meanwhile, The List works with over 150 retail partners around the world, and while the U.S. is The List’s largest market, the app launch will help it grow into additional markets and offer products in different languages.
The new funding will enable the company to grow aggressively and add to its 55-person workforce. Over the past year, The List saw growth on both sides of its business model, with several hundred people joining the supply side, and on the consumer side, revenue jumped by a couple thousand percent, Skorski said. In fact, this year’s Black Friday in November contributed to the best month ever in company history, he added.
“Digital sales has taken a dominant role, much like how restaurants have iPads at tables,” Skorski said. “The same will happen in the retail space, and it will be a matter of who gets there faster. We are creating this world to enable true storytelling in its best form.”