The Tisch Brothers Raise $7.5 Million to Build a Shopping Mall on Your Phone
Spring, a company co-founded by former Techstars NYC head David Tisch and his brother Alan, has raised a Series A investment of $7.5 million.
The lead investors were Thrive Capital, David Tisch’s investment firm Box Group and Groupe Arnault. The last of the three is the investment arm of LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate that owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Dior.
At a high level, Spring is building a shopping app for your phone through which different brands can sell their wares directly to shoppers. In an interview, David Tisch called it a “mobile marketplace … to create an experience that’s the easiest way to shop on your phone.”
“We don’t think that there’s a very easy way to shop on your phone today,” said Tisch, who is serving as the company’s chairman. Tisch’s younger brother Alan is Spring’s CEO.
Beyond that tiny bit of information, Tisch declined to reveal much more about the product until it launches later this summer. (I, too, am perplexed that Spring is launching in the wrong season.)
However, according to two people familiar with what the company is building, Spring will unveil a digital shopping mall that attracts the type of higher-end brands that aren’t comfortable selling their clothing or goods on Amazon and eBay — brands hinted at by the inclusion of Groupe Arnault as an investor.
The app will also launch with a heavy emphasis on images — one source referred to it as “an Instagram with a buy button.” It is also expected to take some cues from Alibaba’s online shopping mall Tmall, of which David Tisch is said to be fond.
The company already has 26 employees, 13 of whom are software engineers. Joining the Tisches as co-founders are CTO Octavian Costache and CMO Ara Katz. Additional investors include Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SV Angel and a bunch of New York City-based entrepreneurs. The company was funded up until now by David Tisch’s Box Group.