Six entrepreneurs presented their ideas at the Seattle Angel Conference on Wednesday afternoon in hot pursuit of one very big check. And while each of the entrepreneurs offered compelling pitches to the crowd of more than 150, only one had the style and finesse to woo the judges.
Glamhive, a two-year-old Seattle startup which rewards fashionistas with gift cards for sharing their favorite outfits online, took home the top prize and the $205,000 check
Fashion is certainly moving online, and as one of the judges cleverly noted, the founders possess a “passion for fashion.”
Co-founder Stephanie Sprangers started her talk by noting that 3,000 photos are shared every hour on Instagram with the hashtag Outfitoftheday.
“While millions of women are sharing these photos, millions of other women are viewing these photos, and they want to shop for and buy the things that they are seeing, but there is no easy way to do it,” said Sprangers, noting that the major social networks are not built for e-commerce.
That’s where Glamhive, which employs nine people and is looking to raise $1.2 million, steps in. It allows fashionistas to browse and shop for various styles, and then get rewarded for participating in the network.
“Through our platform, we enable people to take photos and connect them to products, and then product to retailers, so that every photo is shoppable,” she said. “And we fuel this cycle of sharing and shopping by rewarding our users with their participation.”
Users earn points on Glamhive when you share or buy outfits or when someone buys an outfit that you’ve posted. It is looking to attract style-conscious women in the age range of 18 to 44.
The company competes against Polyvore, Wanelo and RewardStyle, but Sprangers notes that “no one else has connected the dots” in the same way as Glamhive.
The company, which has partnered with over 600 retailers, earns affiliate revenue of four to 20 percent on each outfit sold through the network. It also plans to make money through online advertising, with Sprangers saying that people on average spend five minutes on the site and generate seven page views per visit. It has also launched a contest platform that allows brands to promote certain products in the network.
It is shooting to have 465,000 users by the end of this year, and 1.5 million by the end of 2016. As part of the effort to create buzz, the company is looking to ally with top fashion blogs. Over time, Sprangers said that the company could expand into other verticals, including home decor and beauty products.
Glamhive is backed PicMonkey CEO Jonathan Sposato (who also serves as Chairman of GeekWire) and others.
The other company presenters at the Seattle Angel Conference — which has deployed more than $1 million over seven events — included:
—Yottio, a live video streaming community that connects users to TV or online programs in real time.
—TomboyX, a lifestyle brand that celebrates the “tomboy spirit” in women.
—Attachedapps, a developer of cloud-based applications for small and medium-sized businesses.
—Payboard, a developer of technologies to help small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses increase sales from Web site traffic.
—Sqoop, a free Web-based service to help reporters gather information from SEC filings, court documents and other difficult to access sources.