Pixibo’s ‘Netflix for fashion’ scores fresh funding

Singapore-based Pixibo wants to solve two of fashion ecommerce’s major pain points: converting site visits into purchases and reducing the number of returned items.

Co-founders Rohit Kumar and Karthik Srinivasan identified garment sizing as the root cause of both problems. While shopping for clothes online means that people don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes, it also makes it more difficult for them to ensure they’re buying something that actually fits them. As anyone who’s ever shopped for clothes knows, a medium-sized dress from one brand might be a large at another.

Since online customers can’t physically try on the clothes they’re buying, there’s a higher risk that they might have to return their purchases – which adds costs and leaves shoppers unsatisfied.

Pixibo released its first product last year, prior to landing pre-series A funding. Named Pi, it’s a web app that helps consumers find which size garments are the best fit for them, regardless of brand or manufacturer.

But size-and-fit was just “an opening act for us,” Kumar tells tells Tech in Asia. Having just closed its series A round and hit US$1 million in annual recurring revenue, Pixibo is gearing up for what it hopes will be the main event.

Age of discovery

The startup is moving into new territory with its next product – a digital personal shopper that sifts through ecommerce sites to suggest items based on a customer’s physical attributes, stated preferences, and previous purchases.

“Think of it as a Netflix for fashion,” Kumar says. “My playlist is completely different to my wife’s. And I think fashion ecommerce should be taking a leaf out of that book.”

Browsing for clothes online can be a laborious process of trawling through tens – if not hundreds – of garments that are irrelevant to the shopper because they are the wrong size, wrong style, or wrong color. It’s little wonder that a lot of would-be buyers run out of time, or simply give up, without making a purchase.AD. Remove this ad space by subscribing.Support independent journalism.

Pixibo’s new discovery engine is able to curate online inventories so that shoppers only see clothes that they are likely to be interested in buying.

Our job is to make our tech look and feel like our customers’ tech.

Clients are already seeing an uplift in conversions from implementing Pi, with Netherlands site Shoeby reporting conversion rates about 70 percent higher since it introduced the app. Another Netherlands e-tailer, JoshV, said it had seen a 23 percent reduction in return rates.

Pixibo’s discovery tool can further improve both conversion and returns rates, Kumar claims.

As with Pi, the startup’s new Personal Shopper app will be offered as a white-label solution. “Our job is to make our tech look and feel like our customers’ tech. And that involves working closely with fashion players to integrate our algorithms natively into their system,” explains Kumar.

Ecommerce sites can pick from a variety of price plans, which can be customized according to their needs. The most basic plan on offer is a simple plug-and-play version of Pi, while more advanced enterprise packages can include the new discovery stack as well.AD. Remove this ad space by subscribing.Support independent journalism.

In addition to JoshV and Shoeby, Pixibo counts Thailand’s Pomelo Fashion, Hong Kong’s Grana, and Sri Lanka’s Amante among its clients.

Japanese investors

While Pixibo has not disclosed how much it has raised in its series A round, Kumar says that it’s a “meaningful” seven-figure US dollar amount.

The round was led by Start Today Ventures, the VC arm of Japanese ecommerce firm Start Today, which runs online fashion mall Zozotown and has invested in a number of Southeast Asian fashion-related startups, including Pomelo and FashionValet.

Nuri Group – a conglomerate with business activities including property, retail, and manufacturing – also participated, alongside angel investors that had previously backed Pixibo’s pre-series A round, including former Google and Twitter executive Shailesh Rao.

Kumar says the fresh funding will mainly be used to enhance Pixibo’s talent base. In particular, the startup will hire a business development team to ramp up sales. It will also help lay the groundwork for Pixibo’s next ventures, such as apps for the lingerie and footwear segments that are in the works.