If you've heard that Coco Rocha, GabiFresh, Kristin Cavallari, XoJane and Made Fashion Week are all coming out with their own apps on Wednesday -- it's not a coincidence. The common thread is a new app publishing platform called Dwnld, which is launching with roughly 200 partners.
The main goal of Dwnld is to make it easy for any blogger or publisher to build an app, no coding or exorbitant development costs required. Alexandra Keating, the startup's CEO and a former Thrillist vice president of marketing, says that the CMS, which was modeled off Wordpress, scrapes any website and autopopulates the app. From there, a user can customize its layout and color scheme, and add commerce and advertising.
It's cheap, too: A basic app costs $15 per month, which Keating says was an intentional move to keep the platform open and not price anyone out. Dwnld doesn't take a cut of any of any transactions that take place through the app, so growing revenue is entirely dependent on scale.
To date, the company has raised just north of $2 million in venture capital funding from a roster of investors including Michael Arrington's CrunchFund, the Chernin Group, Gordon Crawford and William Morris Endeavor. According to Keating, WME co-CEO Ari Emanuel had a keen interest in getting the agency's talent on the app from the get-go.
In addition to bloggers, publishers and fashion companies, models are another group that Keating is hoping to bring into the fold. Hey, in the age of the social media model, it's not a bad idea.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Milk Studios and Made Fashion Week are two separate entities.