Welcome Stylect to the Forward Partners portfolio

Stylect

We’re really happy to welcome Stylect to our portfolio. The deal closed a couple of weeks back and was announced on Techcrunch last week: “Swiping is the new liking” now applies to shoe shopping.

Stylect is a shoe shopping app for iOS which employs a Tinder-esque UI on top of it’s recommendation engine to help women find and purchase the perfect pair of shoes. The app launhed last November and now features over 50,000 shoes. One of the exciting things here is that users love swiping – the average downloader has swiped 400 shoes (and rising), with some swiping over 10,000. Each swipe generates a bit of information about the user which is used to power and refine the recommendation algorithm. This is the sense in which swiping is the new liking.

When we first heard about the company we were skeptical. Tinder for XYZ startups are everywhere at the moment and we had the obvious concern that Stylect was little more than a UI gimmick.

The first thing that started to change our minds was the team – Giacomo, Hadi, and Darius. They looked great on paper and one of us had seen them present well so we asked them in for a meeting during which they further impressed us as ambitious, metrics driven, tenacious, and smart. These guys know how to build an ecommerce business. However, the key was the vision – to redefine browsing for mcommerce. Already we can see that many people find swiping more engaging than clicking and scrolling. Add to that the fact that swipes generate far greater volumes of data and you have a mechanism that is better for the consumer and for the retailer. That’s what makes Stylect a high potential business.