Zappli gets $500K in funding, updates myShopanion shopping app
Zappli Inc. recently closed a $500,000 round of funding and updated its myShopanion iPhone application to make holiday shopping more social.
The myShopanion application lets consumers take their friends and family with them virtually on all of their shopping expeditions. With holiday shopping season in full swing, consumers are using their phones to ask for advice, share products they like and make sure they are getting the best gifts for loved ones this holiday season.
“Zappli’s strategy is to deliver solutions that tap the power of the Web, mobile devices, and social networks to create seamless and fun shopping experiences,” said Philippe Suchet, CEO of Zappli, San Francisco. “MyShopanion is the first of such shopping solutions.
“The primary target is smartphone users ages 18-40,” he said. “The half a million dollars in funding that Zappli received will it be invested in growing our team and in selected marketing efforts.”
Zappli closed the seed round of funding led by former eBay executives and the investment fund 500 StartUps.
Social one-stop shopping
In a world where smartphone users are more active and social, myShopanion caters to consumers’ needs, letting them shop and share through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
Unlike many other mobile shopping applications, myShopanion lets users share purchases and interesting products with friends and family and get real-time feedback.
Users can post to Facebook, Twitter or send emails to ask for advice. They can also see the shopping feed of their friends and understand what they are shopping for and what they like or want.
Mr. Suchet said that myShopanion supports consumers’ natural tendency to receive instant feedback, eliminate indecision or boast about a great deal.
Once consumers’ friends chime in on their potential purchases, myShopanion users can make sure they are getting the best deals by accessing reviews on millions of products and checking prices from thousands of retailers.
They can also complete the purchase right from the application or decide to save the product to a wishlist to purchase at a later date.
During the hectic holiday season, myShopanion is designed to help consumers tap their friends and make the best informed purchase decisions.
“We currently have a series of partnerships with retailer networks, allowing us to feature thousands of retailers and bring qualified traffic to them,” Mr. Suchet said. “We are starting conversations with some retailers on specific in-app promotions but haven’t launched any yet.
“We have received tremendous press and analyst coverage,” he said. “We are leveraging social media and traditional media placements and are also experiencing very strong word-of-mouth.”
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