Back in August, a mobile-only marketplace called Spring launched its app with $7.5 million in venture capital funding and about 150 brands like Opening Ceremony, Warby Parker and Public School on board. That list has since grown to include over 700 designers, and as of Thursday, Spring has tacked on another $25 million in financing to fuel its growth.
The startup's investors for this round include BoxGroup — the venture capital firm at which Spring founder David Tisch is also a managing partner, so go figure — Yuri Milner, Groupe Arnault, Google Ventures, Thrive Capital, Ashton Kutcher's Sound Ventures and Silas Chou, the businessman who helped make Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors what they are today.
When Spring launched, its big pitch was that mobile commerce was a massive opportunity, if only it could be done right. Supposing that people aren't going to download individual brand apps, Spring brought all of those designers into one place and made checkout ridiculously fast. Users can follow their favorite brands, which link their own sales systems with Spring's backend and push out new posts to shoppers' feeds as often as they'd like.
According to Tisch, they've seen two types of shoppers emerge: a "pure browser," who comes back multiple times a day to scroll through product and sometimes buys, and a group of users that come to Spring with the intention of buying. He says that people who do buy are coming back very quickly to make another purchase; based on what he's gathered as an investor, Tisch says Spring's repeat purchase rate is about two and a half times that of normal e-commerce sites.
If that's true, it's pretty good. As for the merchants, Tisch says there's not yet a science for how often a brand should publish posts, and that brands are still experimenting to figure out what works best for them.
At this point, Spring is building up its 48-person team and putting some of its funding toward marketing, which is still in its earliest stages. One area that it has been investing in is customer service: Though retailers ship their own products, Spring has started handling customer service in order to make things easier for brands.
Spring also launched its Android app Thursday. So if you've been waiting for that... have at it.