How is it if shopping for the latest trends and social networking with fashionistas go hand in hand? Roposo has made it unbelievably amazing for those who have got bored of checking online shopping portals for the latest trends. An interface between shopping portals, search engine and social media, Roposo is a multi-feature application to discover trends, exchange fashion tips, share style stories, socialize with fashion freaks, search for particular products and buy the same based on recommendations by other users. To say precisely, Roposo is a leading fashion social network in India.
Founded by Mayank Bhangadia, Kaushal Shubhank and Avinash Saxena (former CTO of Zomato), Roposo was conceptualized in July 2014 when the trio stepped into the shoes of women in order to realize how much time they spend on browsing products and checking trends on multiple websites. Thus, they incepted a complete fashion platform with networking features and curated tips as well as stories for women by women. The application was launched in April 2015.
One of the co-founders of Roposo, Mayank Bhangadia holds a B.Tech degree in engineering physics from IIT Delhi. He also pursued MS (Masters of Science) in management with a major in finance from ESCP Europe and in petroleum economics from IFP Paris. He spearheads product development and overseers other functions at Roposo. Kaushal Shubhank is the head of engineering and also in charge of system infrastructure at Roposo. He also plays a vital role in creating strategic roadmap for scaling the company. Having a B. Tech in computer science from IIT Delhi, Kaushal started his career from the IT division of D.E Shaw India Software.
Avinash Saxena is at the helm of marketing and promotion for Roposo. He also oversees hiring, community management, product development and engineering. With a B.Tech in Engineering Physics from the prestigious IIT Delhi, Avinash began his entrepreneurial journey by founding HTech HandsTalk Technologies, a start-up focused on developing innovative products in gesture recognition. After three years at the company, he joined Zomato as its Chief Technology Officer in January 2011.
Product differentiation is the marketing and branding key to the successful position of a new product in the market. Synergy of unique functioning and usefulness is Roposo’s point of differentiation, which helped the product pushed its reach to more and more audience by penetrating deeper into the market. The USP of Roposo is that it is not just an application but an evolving fashion search engine which returns personalized results according to a user’s search queries and individual taste. For instance, if a user types “Little Black Dress for Parties,” Roposo’s search engine will return relevant results on the same from brands that suit your taste, preferences and budget. It does not confuse users with unnecessary, irrelevant threads or links. Moreover, if a user likes to see a photo of the product that he / she is looking for from other users, Roposo scans the Internet to pick relevant photos of the product and shares with the user so that he / she can take an informed buying decision.
While talking about the uniqueness of Roposo, Avinash Saxena adds that it is the fast-growing fashion-centric Instagram of India. Roposo has already piqued interests of Bollywood divas like Bipasha Basu, Sonakshi Sinha, Nargis Fakhri, Jacqueline Fernandez, Malaika Arora Khan, Yagi Gautam and Shilpa Shetty in sharing their fashion and style secrets. It also stole the show with reputed designers like Masaba Gupta, sports icons like Sania Mirza and popular India television starts.
“Our biggest competitors are social networks like Twitter and Instagram. Though Roposo is many times more useful than both social networks to fashion freaks, it is competition with them in terms of popularity,” says Avinash Saxena focusing on how their product competes with other businesses. Users can follow fashion trends and tips on Twitter and Instagram, but neither Twitter helps to find a specific product nor does Instagram help to buy it. Roposo helps to discover, identify and buy any specific product.
Avinash Saxena believes, “Challenges make us get the best of our efforts.” Evidently, challenges were there when Roposo started taking shape into a concrete startup. Hiring the right talent pool was the biggest challenge initially. However, when Roposo got noticed in the marketplace, the talent acquisition and retention challenges were resolved. “Today, our manpower boasts meritorious pass outs from IITs, IIMs and exemployees of such multinational giants as Google, Facebook and Microsoft,” says Avinash.
Since its launch in April 2015, Roposo has come a long way. It has a user base of more than 2 millions. It receives over 1 million screen views every day and about 1 million posts a month. The user base includes more than 200 celebrities, designers and stylists. No doubt, Roposo is on the right track to become the next Instagram for fashion buffs. The current traction of Roposo bears evidence that the efforts by the co-founders have been rewarded.
The collective vision of the co-founders is the driving force behind the growth and advancement of Roposo. Funding is another force pushing the startup forward. Roposo recently raised funds worth USD 5 million from Bertelsmann India Investments (BII). They have raised a total fund of $21 million till date with top investors in the country, including Tiger Global, India Quotient and Flipkart’s CEO Binny Bansal, having infused capital in it.
“After a phenomenal success of Roposo with female users from celebrities to fashionistas, we have introduced a men’s platform. The new platform is buzzing with men’s fashion photographs and style stories. We have also added an interesting geo-tagging feature, Style Check-in, to let users stay updated on what’s trending across India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The new feature has widely been appreciated by Bollywood stars among the users.”