Swedish Startup Space

Follow-up chat with Josep from rêve after securing seed round

Written by on October 24, 2014

Rêve is a STING startup that enables shoppers to scan barcodes in the store and find product information online. We wrote about them earlier here and here.

The team at rêve recently announced that they had closed a seed round successfully, with Optimizer Invest and Almi Invest now being a part of the rêve family. I had a follow-up chat with CEO Josep Maria Nolla after the announcement was made.

Congrats on the investment. What does this mean for you?
The investment is obviously great news for us. It strengthens the company’s financial situation going forward, but most important of all we get great partners on board which believe in us and share our vision for a better shopping experience. What this investment represents for us is the possibility to lock the team, continuously improve the product, invest in non-organic growth and expand to other markets.

How big was the round in total?
I am bound to confidentiality agreements and unfortunately I can’t disclose the round specifics. All I can tell you that we raise a bit more than we were asking for.

All I can tell you that we raise a bit more than we were asking for

How has the user acquisition been since launch?
We launched at the end of May, so the first months of “life” we were hit by the “summer freeze” (the period going midsummer to August in where Sweden basically shuts down) and the growth was very slow. However, since early August we have been growing constantly in a double digits average week on week. And most of that growth is purely organic which is great. Still the absolute numbers are modest, so we will use part of the funds to fuel growth via paid customer acquisition campaigns.

The KPIs that we are more proud over are around usage and engagement. Almost 70 % of the users are active on a monthly basis and more 30 % are active on a weekly basis.

Almost 70 % of the users are active on a monthly basis and more 30 % are active on a weekly basis

The usage of the app in terms of “products views” is growing on a 33 % average WoW and active users spent almost 10 minutes in the app per week. Those are extraordinary numbers, and if we manage to grow the user base while keeping these levels, I think we will be in a good position going forward.

What has been the biggest lesson learned so far?
Launch as soon as possible, get data, understand user behaviour and challenge your assumptions. What I mean is that after launch you start “seeing” things that before were mere excel spread sheets or power point presentations.

In our case, we noticed people were using the scan function much less than we expected, but still, the app usage and engagement levels were very high. We couldn’t quite figure out why people were using the app so often but not in stores. And what we realized is that users were using the app as a vertical product search to explore and get inspired by new products everyday. In a way this made total sense, in terms that we go shopping once every few weeks or once a month, but on the other hand we are constantly online.

From that learning we realised that one of our largest assets is our crawling technology and the possibility to search within an unparalleled database of more than 85K products that no one else has (Zalando for instance sells 150K but they lack most high-street retail brands like Zara, H&M, etc.).

Anything else you want to share?
During the summer and after launching the Android version, we worked on some improvements but mainly in adding more retailers and products to the database. We went from 14 supported retailers at launch to 35 today, which is pretty much all the high-street fashion retail in Scandinavia.

We went from 14 supported retailers at launch to 35 today, which is pretty much all the high-street fashion retail in Scandinavia

In time with the investment we just released a new Android version of the app and the iOS version is on the way. This new version brings a more “personalised” shopping experience and users can get relevant products on their feed based on the brands they follow and their interests. It also improves the search experience adding brand and items on sales filters, amongst others.

And next we are working to close the loop in the shopping experience and allow our users to buy within the app with one click, finally brining a hassle-free shopping experience either in store or on-the-go. This will be very unique, and then its when reve wil truly become peoples personal shopper.

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