7 Retail Startups Changing the Way We Shop

September 16, 2016

10:40 am

The world of retail is one open to innovation, change and industriousness. We’ve seen the way we shop transform through the decades, but never at a rate as fast as now. These are the start-ups making those changes happen – take a look.


Vinted is a retail startup established in 2008 by Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas. The startup originally targeted Lithuanian girls and is a place where women can swap, sell and buy used clothes. The startup is an open peer-to-peer market that also doubles as a social network that encourages its users to communicate with each other concerning anything from items they are selling to deals on the site, and even items they’ve bought. What started out as a small localized enterprise has now grown to an active marketplace with over 7,000,000 active users in 8 different countries and handles over 200 million requests/day.


Chicago based company Raise is essentially a gift card reseller – people sell gift cards through their site or app and they take a cut. Sound simple, however the app and site raised $56m at a $1Bn valuation last year. The reality is that around 90% plus of gift cards nowadays are sent onto the buyer in a digital format of one form or another – whether that is custom gift cards redeemed online or straight up digital gifts.  The company is also working with a number of retailers, providing those whose cards are sold on-site, with information on where else customers are doing their shopping. This marketing information is also very valuable.


Thread is a unique startup that helps users understand the world of fashion by connecting them with a personal stylist on its platform. Thread stylists learn about users and suggest clothes they think would suit them. If the user likes the suggestions made, she can then buy the items via the site. While Thread is free, the company normally takes a cut from all purchases made through it.


Pomelo, which is a Bangkok-based fashion e-tailer, celebrated its second anniversary earlier this year – it was founded in early 2014. While the fashion house itself is located in Bangkok, the clothes it retails are all designed and produced in South Korea. The e-tailer recently extended its reach to its neighboring country, Singapore, in September and has plans to expand into Malaysia soon. Though Pomelo is relatively new in the market, the company already enjoys over 180,000 unique visits and nearly 1 million page views every month since September last year.


An online fashion marketplace, Lyst lets users follow all their favorite stores and was started in 2010 by Christ Morton after he stopped working as an investor at Benchmark Capital and Balderton Capital. It is reported that in 2012 alone, the business grew by over 400%, and saw increased growth in 2013 too, generating over $60,000,000 in sales.

In 2014, the company announced that it had raised over $14,000,000 in funding from Accel and Balderton Capital partners, amongst other investors.


Have you ever tried buying a blouse or a pair of shoes using your mobile phone? All the toggling and zooming can be rather horrendous.

That is where Spring comes into the picture. Spring is a mobile-first app that aims at making the shopping experience on phones more pleasurable and intuitive.

Apart from improving the shopping experience using its unique UI (user interface), Spring wants its users to discover new brands as they shop on its app, just as they would if they were perusing through clothes in a boutique. Spring offers personalized collections and brand recommendation curated by fashion experts and editors. At the same time, the app offers users one-of-a-kind items and access to some of the most exclusive fashion sales. Spring is your digital guide to New York’s SoHo.

If you see something you like as you scroll and want to buy it, then one swipe of your finger is all that’s needed to seal the deal.


LovetheSales is a one-of-a-kind website that allows customers to view all the sales available on the web. The site collects information on thousands of brands, drills down into the particulars of what you are looking for, before providing results of brands on sale that match your needs. This makes it easier for you to get the things that you are looking for faster and at a good price. LovetheSales is a great site that provides its users a great way to enjoy great deals when shopping.

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