With Copious announcing a $5 million Series A round of funding, a new shipping program and a new crop of well known fashion bloggers and stylists among its high-profile sellers, it seemed like just the right time to pay the San Francisco fashion startup a visit. Check out our behind-the-scenes look at this up-and-coming fashion tech company above.
For the uninitiated, Copious is a person-to-person platform for buying and selling style-minded merchandise with a scrolling, Pinterest-like image wall and lots of social media goodies built in (full disclosure: I’ve used it and sold two items on the site). Yes, there are several of those out there at the moment (Poshmark, Threadflip, Style.ly, to name a few). Copious differentiates itself by focusing on matching buyers and sellers with compatible interests and social media connections.
“Our angle is hyper-personalization based on social activity,” explained Copious CEO Jim Rose earlier this week during a chat in the company’s industrial-chic SoMa office.
So what does that mean, exactly? Copious users are able to see how connected they are through social media to others on the site through the “Copious Signal.” Other than being a fun feature with Six Degrees of Separation-like implications, it’s also tool for building trust among buyers and sellers.
“When you’re actually ready to purchase from someone, you’re curious about who that person is and whether you’re going to get your stuff,” says Rose.
Along with the signal, each user’s view of the site is different, depending on who they follow and what items they like. There’s also integration with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
In addition to funding, Copious also announced its Simple Ship service today. Now sellers can print a pre-paid shipping label once an item is purchased, afix it to a box and drop it off at the post office instead of having to stand in line and deal with forms.
As for the new fashion blogging glitterati you’ll find hawking merch, new to the site this week are Monica Rose ( stylist for the Kardashians), CouldIHaveThat, Lulu and Your Mom and Some Notes on Napkins. They join Man Repeller, Oh Joy, Nitrolicious and a handful of other top fashion bloggers.
The social marketplace for buying and selling apparel, accessories, beauty products and items for the home currently counts about 12 employees in its ranks, but is planning on nearly doubling that in the coming weeks with its fresh funding, led by Foundation Capital, with Google Ventures and Relay Ventures also participating. The new hires will join a team headed up by MobShop CEO Rose, former Critical Path VP of mobile strategy Rob Zuber and former Facebook head of marketing Jonathan Ehrlich.
Also on the horizon: going mobile and, with any luck, opening the marketplace up to those outside the U.S.
“We’d love to be able to go international,” Rose says.
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Photography by Jennymay Villarete for Digital Style Digest