For the past few years, former retail buyer Mona Bijoor has built a digital wholesale marketplace that connects fashion brands such as Diane von Furstenberg and Jason Wu with retail shops and e-commerce storefronts.
The New York City startup, which has raised about $20 million in venture capital from Canaan Partners and others, has had some early success so far, seeing $750 million worth of orders across its marketplace last year, Bijoor said. The company takes a cut of about two percent to three percent on order totals, meaning that the three-year-old startup brought in between $15 million to $22.5 million in revenue last year, though it is not yet profitable.
But as Joor looks to move from a useful technology to a must-have in the fashion business, Bijoor felt that it needed new tools for its core customer: The retail buyers who select which brands and styles to stock their brick-and-mortar and digital floors with. She is launching a new mobile app aimed at simplifying the process of making bulk wholesale orders for buyers on the go, while also providing Joor with the chance for a second revenue stream through a software service fee.
The app, which Bijoor says is currently being tested by buyers from three department stores, includes a lot of the same functionality as the Web version of the marketplace, with a few additions geared toward a user not in the office. For example, there is a custom camera feature to take photos of the front and back of an article of clothing and merge them together into a single image for retailers who want to upload clothing from brands not on the Joor platform.
Will slick swiping navigation and a few bells and whistles be enough to generate a legitimate new source of sales? Bijoor is betting yes. And if it does, there will be a side benefit that may be even more valuable.
“If retailers love this,” Bijoor said, “they will tell brands to get on the system.”