Platform Connects Brands with Creators to Build Instagram Photos that are instantly Shoppable
Dash Hudson, a mobile commerce company transforming how young millennials shop and how brands reach them, today announced the initial close of its seed round. The $1 million round included participation from institutional and individual angel investors. The company is also in negotiations on a second close.
Dash Hudson enables creative talent to build shoppable lifestyle images that can be shared directly to their audiences on Instagram. Brand fans that engage with those photos can then shop the featured items instantly. Powered by Dash Hudson’s proprietary technology, this provides a seamless shopping experience for customers, and a direct path from reach to sales for e-commerce brands.
Our content has reached an audience of over three million since we launched the platform in December,” said Thomas Rankin, CEO of Dash Hudson. “The focus on featuring brands in beautiful, organic lifestyle images that can be shopped has created levels of engagement and conversion that we did not expect so early on.”
Founders Thomas Rankin and Tomek Niewiarowski conceived of Dash Hudson after frustration with their own mobile shopping experiences. They found that while their favorite photos were on Instagram and other social platforms, the products they wanted were scattered across mobile apps and sites requiring multiple accounts and with complicated checkout processes. They saw the opportunity to build something for a new generation of shopper.
For our audience, Instagram is their stage, their glossy mag, and their shopping mall, said Mr. Rankin. We have had a great response, especially from the 18-24 female shopper. Our growth has enabled us to build new technology to help both brands and creators be successful. With brands spending over $1 billion per year on Instagram marketing, with no ROI, there's a big opportunity for us to help turn that spend into meaningful results. 2015 will be the year the smartest brands and agencies put Instagram marketing dollars into campaigns that do much more than just generate likes.
Creators upload a photo to the Dash Hudson app, tag the brands they are wearing, and share the image to their Instagram feed. When a follower who has registered for Dash Hudson likes this photo they are delivered directly from Instagram to the shoppable products in Dash Hudson in one touch, where they can easily and quickly check out with Apple Pay or traditional payment methods. Dash Hudson handles the order processing with the product provider, and bundles items when possible.
The company had previously announced a $400,000 round of angel financing in June 2014 led by former Groupon CTO Paul Gauthier, and DHX Media cofounder and Academy Award winning producer Charles Bishop. New investors include GoInstant cofounders Jevon MacDonald and Gavin Uhma, and institutional seed investor Innovacorp. Dash Hudson is available now on iPhone, and will be launching on Android later this year.
About Dash Hudson
Create, share, and shop amazing Instagram looks. Find products from over 3,000 of your favourite brands and get anything you want in a few touches. It’s beautiful, simple, and dangerous.
Dash Hudson enables creative talent to build shoppable lifestyle images that can be shared directly to their audiences on Instagram. Brand fans who engage with those photos can then shop the featured items instantly.
Powered by Dash Hudson’s proprietary technology, this provides a seamless shopping experience for customers, and a direct path from reach to sales for e-commerce brands.
Unlike many other marketplaces featuring access to multiple brands, Dash Hudson offers its customer free shipping and returns, regardless of the source. From discovery to purchase, the process is beautiful, and simple.
Dash Hudson was founded in 2014 by Thomas Rankin and Tomek Niewiarowski.
The company is supported by high profile advisors, including Daniel Burka (design partner at Google Ventures), Erik Lautier (EVP and chief digital officer at bebe), David Alston (former CMO at Radian6, a Salesforce company), and John Jannuzzi (senior digital editor at GQ).
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New York and Nova Scotia, March 3, 2015