Voonik a Personal styling fashion app’s Startup Story

Voonik, started as a Personal styling fashion app rather than another apparel store. Within no time from its launch it took a new space in the eCommerce horizon, giving some uniqueness in their startup unlike some big players.

Idea behind Voonik’s existence was to let a woman or a girl customer have her own online personal shopping assistant, who will ensure that the dress suits her and also well within her price range.

The age old tradition of taking your friend on shopping to help your selection has now being replaced by this app. Through this app a woman customer can directly do her shopping or she can give some inputs like body shape, skin tone, height and personal style to let Voonik advise some dresses for her. Isn’t it a new way of shopping experience where most of the online shopping websites offer filters by price range, color or discount but this app does it by your body shape, height and Skin tone.

Voonik

About its Founders:

Voonik has been co-founded by Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan in January 2013 with a personal investment of 40 lakhs. Sujayath Ali is the brain behind Voonik who did his MBA in Technology and Finance from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering from MepcoSchlenk Engineering College. He worked for Amazon as a senior product manager in US for 7 Years and also worked as VP, head of Visa Checkout merchant program at Visa before he left his job to start Voonik.

Navaneetha Krishnan J who partners Sujayath acts as the CTO of the company. Before this startup he worked for Freshdesk as a Principal developer, Narus Networks as Tech-Lead and Aryaka Networks as Technical Architect.

Working and Revenue Model:

Voonik has its market place where retail stores register and show case their products. In simple, it brings multiple online stores into a single cart. It has 1000 plus brands with 5 lakh products from more than 100 stores like Jabong, Snapdeal, Fashionara, Fashionandyou, Yepme, Zovi etc. A team of six trained stylists work full time and keep recommending the kind of clothes which suit the user. It is powered by an in-house personal shopping platform that makes recommendations to shoppers based on their profile and preferences. Voonik charges the brand or the seller a 15 per cent commission on every sale. It does its deliveries with a third party logistic partner.

Marketing:

This app currently relies on Facebook to get Majority of its traffic. It also uses some apps like Laddu which pays users on installing their app. Press releases now and then too helped this startup gain some popularity among the people who have an eye for trendy fashion. ‘The Pitch’ a program hosted by Bloomberg TV also helped them to show case their product and was helpful in getting them their initial funding from Seedfund.

Technology behind Voonik:

Voonik runs their service as a ‘personalization-on-steroids platform’. Their image search technology is being developed by Mad Street Den an artificial intelligence and computer vision startup based in Chennai which has built a cloud-based platform MADStack. MADStack contains several modules, including object recognition, gesture recognition, emotion recognition and many more powering a wide range of applications and verticals. This enables them to recognize several aspects of a consumer’s experience across physical and digital spaces.

Vooniks Stats:

  1. Voonik gets close to 2 million unique visitors per month. The launch of their desktop version might double the stats in few days.
  2. Voonik is now doing 10,000 orders a day and are expecting an increase of 15,000 in a month after their desktop version launch and the firm is aiming for 20,000 daily orders by January 2016.
  3. This app currently has 50% of their traffic and transactions from Tier 1 cities and remaining 50% from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
  4. Voonik android app has 2 Million installs with a rating of 4.1 at Google Play Store.
  5. Their sales and revenue figures are growing 100% month-over-month. But they haven’t disclosed any numbers yet.

Other Interesting Facts:

  • Voonik was initially Chennai Based but they have their new office shifted to Benguluru because of the startup ecosystem.
  • The name ‘Voonik’ evolved from the word ‘Unique’.
  • It took five month to develop this app and was launched on August 2014.
  • It started with a 12 member team which now grew to almost 80 employees. Among them 30 people work on product and engineering and 30 on support and operations.
  • In February 2014, they received Rs2.5 crores in seed money from SeedFund and recently they received series-A funding from Sequoia Capital and SeedFund of $5 million dollars (approximately Rs. 32 crores).
  • Intially Voonik started as a Brand for both Men and women but later it switched to focus only on Women. Even their brand is now tagged as “Every Woman’s Personal Stylist”
  • Voonik app had over 10,000 downloads within one month of its launch and an average rating of 4.3/5
  • Voonik gets some of its initial investments in very low magnitude from Myntra CEO Mukesh Bansal, who also is their mentor.
  • During its initial days they used to get 90 to 100 orders a day mostly from Northern parts of India.
  • Between August 2014 and May 2015, the app has had one million users and immediately it rose to a million more in period of just 2 months.
  • On average, registered users spend more than 19 minutes per visit which is the highest in the industry.
  • Voonik was among Microsoft Ventures India’s list of 16 startups for its summer batch of accelerator program in 2014.
  • Women shoppers from Koramangala, Banglore shop more frequently than other parts of India.
  • iOS version of their app is in its making and will soon hit the apple devices.
  • It has acquired TrialKart, a mobile platform that provides a virtual dressing room experience for customers.

Future Plans:

This company is in big plans at taking on board offline boutiques and launching chat-based features. At present the app is aimed at giving recommendations to the customers, but are not able to chat with the stylists. Sujayath Ali in recent press releases said they are working on Chat based feature which many customers have been requesting and are also aiming for $100 million (approximately Rs 600 crores) in 12 months. Personally he dreams to have a high tech home office, completely controlled by voice and gesture, powered by Google Now or Siri. Hope this success story of Voonik ignites some passion towards your own start up.

Now that you have read the story so patiently I hope you might well be excited to try the app so now stop wasting your time and go ahead, download it right away and experience Shopping like never before!

Picture Credits: Razzledazzlepickle

2 Comments

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  1. I wasn’t aware of Voonik until I read your blog, Vijesh. It seems that they are on the right path to become one of the top notch fashion app. A chat based feature will definitely help to increase their customer database.

  2. I enjoyed your this blog post regarding voonik!!! thank you so much for sharing this valuable information …Great Stuff! Thanks!

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