So social commerce startup Lyst, aggregator and curator of blog and deal content from the fashion world has just received a $5 million funding (DFJ Esprit, Venrex, Accel Partners, Alex Zubillaga). Money smartly invested we think in a world where aggregation and curation are delivering in the social commerce world.
Lyst allows users to create a personal ‘stylefeed’ – AKA a ‘lyst’, which comprises personalised fashion blog content + store/deal news from favourite brands on a site that allows subscribers to search and shop from all their favourite fashion stores in one place and get instant sales alerts on products saved to your lyst. Think a Flipboard for fashion – curated and e-commerce enabled. Lyst makes money via affiliate revenue – between 7 and 20 percent of transaction value – and reports it is doubling revenue each month, whilst fashion bloggers can make money by featuring products on Lyst in their blogs.
As we proposed last week, we believe the future of both social commerce and the magazine industry lies in this dynamic and e-commerce-enabled curation and aggregation of themed content. What we particularly like is the quality control in content – that lack of which we think lead to demise of stylefeeder, a social commerce experiment purchases by Time Warner back in 2010, but later mothballed. Brands are not automatically added to the content and commerce pool but are vetted, and there is less of the peer-to-peer social noise – it’s quality content from quality writers and quality deals from quality brands.
Some may take issue with whether Lyst is “real’ social commerce – since there’s little peer-to-peer interaction; it’s less about connecting and sharing with peers but following experts. But it is precisely this kind of social commerce that makes shoppers smarter, and so adds value. Social is about people – not just peers.