Tanya rummages through her wardrobe every morning for clothes to wear for the day. Her life comes to a standstill as she struggles to break the monotony, and snap out of boredom but cannot, given the same old clothes and colours in her stock.
Shopping regularly is not an option as it burns a huge hole in the pocket. Besides, regular shopping can lead to one sitting on a pile of clothes which don’t seem exciting after some time.
This For That, a mobile-only fashion swapping startup is attempting at resolving this everyday problem women face through an online clothes sharing platform. The option, so far, is available to women in Delhi-NCR.
“As a woman, the need to have access to fashion regularly, without having to worry about spending money seemed like the answer,” says Nancy Bhasin, founder and CEO, This for That. “We are using technology to give women the option to get their hands on exactly the things they like and want. Our proposition is that women should be thinking about “what should I take home today?”, instead of “what should I wear today?”
How This for That works?
This for That is a peer to peer service available on Android and iOS phones which helps women swap their closets with other like-minded women. Women can use the service for a wide variety of items including clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and cosmetics.
To begin with, one needs to upload the picture of the product one wants to swap and also has to assign a value for their product. Customers can use the in-app messaging and discuss the swap details, such as fit, size, condition, and then accept or reject requests. Once a request is accepted, both users pay a convenience charge, which includes pick up, drop and on-spot hygiene and condition check, for their respective products.
Fashion, a competitive genre
The swapping platform will be competing with companies such as Coutloot, Rekinza, Envoged, Elanic, Zapyle and Spoyl which allow users to buy and sell fashion on their platforms.
An ex-advertising professional and brand strategist with over eight years of experience in marketing and communication advisory, Bhasin has, in the past, worked with brands such as Liberty Footwear, Converse, and several fashion brands from Future Group.
While Bhasin has bootstrapped the project so far but she is keen to raise investment soon. She can take heart from the fact that most of the companies mentioned above have managed to raise funds, the most recent among them being Coutloot that raised an undisclosed amount from seed investor Venture Catalysts in June.
This for That has chosen credits as the currency for the platform. All transactions, including shipping, happen in credits. If users can’t get someone to swap their items for what they like, they can propose a credit swap.
“We currently make money through credits. Credits are bought from the platform, so we make a certain amount per active swapper, per month. In future we will make money through other models as well,” Bhasin says.
The company is currently operational in Delhi-NCR and will soon launch in Chandigarh and Ludhiana. The platform has 1700 active users on the app and has done an average of 150 transactions a month in the past three months of its existence.
“At the moment scale is important but the transaction potential in smaller cities will be immense. Smaller cities have huge brand awareness but limited access. So, inter-city swaps will be a hit,” Bhasin says, adding: “We are focusing on building the community base and team right now. Funding is definitely on the charts.”
This For That also plans to launch in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore by the end of 2016. It is looking to reach 500 transactions per month by end of 2016 and targeting 36,000 users.
The women apparel market is slated to grow to Rs 121,400 crore by 2017, according to a report by management consulting firm Technopak.
Anirudh Damani, partner at early stage investor Artha India Ventures, says that consumer to consumer space has the potential to grow. “The secondary e-commerce space is definitely interesting and we have recently entered the space with Coutloot. There are a lot of aspirational items that are no longer used by the primary purchaser but are endeared by those that cannot afford to buy it at full price,” he says. Such platforms can help them fulfil their aspirations, he adds.
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