Social shopping platform Blidz has raised €6 million in seed funding in a round co-led by General Catalyst and European VC Peak, with participation from other investors including D4 Ventures, Fabric Ventures, FJ Labs, IPR.VC, Harvard professor and digital economy enthusiast Youngme Moon, former Amazon executive Christopher North and a former executive at Uber and Revout Don Hoang.
Blidz is a social shopping app encouraging people to purchase items in categories such as jewellery, clothing and gadgets, by offering them huge discounts on their purchases. The platform is a gamified social shopping platform that allows players to unlock deals after playing games from quite a wide selection. Basically, people have to play games to unlock deals that allow them to shop with huge discounts.
The platform which currently has about 50,000 users is quite similar to China’s gamified social shopping platform Pinduoduo which Blidz CEO and co-founder – Lasse Diercks, cites as a direct inspiration for Blidz. “We saw the trend of Pinduoduo, learned how the model worked, built it and sent it out to the market a little over a year ago,” he said. Blidz was founded by Lasse Diercks and Markus Haverinen who holds the position of Chief Product and Technology Officer at Blidz.
The desire to bring Blidz into the market came from an opportunity the founders saw to provide a different and “almost new’ offering to the market – something different from what was already being provided by e-commerce brands such as Amazon. “Our vision is to liberate Western consumers. We want to offer the western consumers a better and less expensive shopping experience,” Blidz CEO said.
While Blidz is a different way to shop, it is also has a great strategy for getting new users by allowing users to share their deals on their timelines and via messages to friends and groups. This indirectly gets people to create their own network as well as recommend products to people they know via their social channels – a very cheap way to go about advertising the platform. People would be encouraged to want to buy using Blidz most especially because of the huge discounts. Blidz currently has four games on its platforms and says more are coming.
The platform’s CEO also added that “Sixty percent of e-commerce in Europe today is dominated by Amazon, and then a long tail of others like it. We believe that there is a monopoly in price extraction. In the end, that’s the vision of the company, to offer Western consumers a better and less expensive shopping experience.”
The platform says that it is building a supply chain in China as the country remains an important supplier for the consumer market. “We are building a supply chain in China where we have a team ex-Wish guys. They are building this for us. This is not about buying cheap goods, but tapping into a newer generation of products coming out the country’s factories that are just as good and sometimes better than the average offerings. It then buys these in bulk, in a concept he described as “quality-to-price,” Blidz CEO said.
CEO Lasse Diercks also added that “We don’t want to work with every supplier. We want to work with a select number. And that constrain of supply appears to be giving Blidz better bargaining power. They are waiting to come on board. The end vision is to be the Shein of this space.”
In a statement, Adam Valkin, MD of General Catalyst mentioned that “The Blidz founding team has a number of unique insights relating to the evolution of online commerce. They are creating a new customer experience in the West by combining social media, gaming and shopping into a data-driven entertaining and easy-to-use platform. We’re excited to see what emerges from this talented team.”