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|Initial release||24 September 2013|
|Operating system||iOS, Android|
Mallzee (//) is a personal shopping application that allows online shoppers with a smartphone to browse over 2 million products from over 100 fashion brands around the world. The mobile app was launched in September 2013 and uses a 'like' or 'dislike' swiping system and has since been labelled as the 'Tinder of fashion', in reference to the Tinder app. In 2015 the application was launched in the US
Mallzee was founded in December 2012 by Cally Russell and is based in Edinburgh.
Russell was born on 13 February 1988 in Dunoon, Scotland but moved to Edinburgh and is there operating as chief executive officer (CEO) of Mallzee. Russell studied Politics and International Relations at The University of Dundee where he received a 2:1 degree. After completing his degree, Russell went to work for the public affairs and PR company Weber Shandwick for six months before he started his first venture Student Punch, an online student magazine. At that time he was also listed for Scottish Emerging Entrepreneur of the year. During an interview, Russell said that the inspiration behind Mallzee was wanting to create something that really helped people find clothes online.
"I was online and trying to find a new pair of black jeans and ended up on one retailer's website with 400 different styles in front of me. I realised there was something a little bit broken in this process – just because you can have all these products and have the ability to showcase them doesn't mean it makes the shopping process any easier for the consumer. Most industries have a discoverability problem online, and the big winners in any one category are generally those that tackle that problem – think of Skyscanner and the success they've had. When we looked at clothes we saw there was exactly the same problem”
Since its inception, Mallzee has grown to a team of twenty-three employees, including Callum Stuart as chief operating officer(COO) and Jamie Sutherland as chief technology officer (CTO), a finalist at Scotland IS awards.
Mallzee showcases the entire product range from hundreds of high street fashion retailers, enabling users to compare items in a single app. It uses swiping technology (similar to the Tinder app) which allows the user to 'like' or 'dislike' a product. Every swipe contributes in personalising the user experience the more swipes, the more accurate their profile will become. Mallzee also suggests trending items, new brands, sales and trends that may be relevant to the user.
Search – is central to Mallzee's homepage design. Users can search for a product or a brand, swipe left if they don't like it and right if they do. A 'grid view' also offers a faster browsing experience where users can view more than one item at a time. In either swiping or grid view, tapping an item reveals more information about the product. There is also the option to purchase immediately.
Feeds – shows collections of items based on trends or topical themes with ideas such as 'Get the Look' or 'What to Wear.' The feeds are handpicked by Mallzee stylists and segmented based on individual user information. This is also where users can find informations from fashion bloggers and stylists and Mallzee's Instagram page. Users can also set up their own Feeds which allows them to personalise streams of clothes based on their tastes. Users can choose which items, based on the requirements they have set, will show there. Users can set certain criteria to improve the accuracy of their search and can specify things like; category of clothing, colour, price range and originating store.
Saved – Allows users to see the items they 'liked' and decide either to buy them or delete them.
Brands – Contains all the brands available in the app, allowing users to favourite or hide.
Price Drop – Alerts users when the price of a saved item drops.
Bag – In 2017 Mallzee released a new version of the app on the [iOS Appstore] which included single transaction multiple retailer purchasing.
My account – This is the user's profile, where personal information, 'open' and 'past' orders are stored.
Mallzee in early 2013 raised an initial seed round of £75,000 from family and friends, to get its app to market. In April 2013 Mallzee raised an additional £150,000 from a group of private investors from Edinburgh led by Andrew Barrie. Mallzee also won a Scottish EDGE award in the form of a £42,899 grant.
One year after its presence in the market, Mallzee completed a seed plus round of funding equal to £500,000. Among main investors there were Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank, together with a number of well-known angel investors on the Scottish tech scene such as Gareth Williams and Rob Dobson. The success of the seed funding has facilitated the growth both in UK and abroad, and allowed to increase the staff up to fourteen members.
In June 2014 Mallzee raised £2.5 million. This was led by the Royal Mail Group, a postal service company in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Group also got contributions from the Scottish Investment Bank, Par Equity, and a group of entrepreneurs including Gareth Williams, CEO of Skyscanner.
Losses filed at the company via Companies House have been increasing rapidly. In 2014 they were £95k, 2015 £381k, 2016 £1.25m, and in 2017 £2.7m.
The original launch of Mallzee took place during London Fashion Week in September 2013. The company has since then grown to host over 200 global fashion brands and has expanded their operations into the US
In November 2015 Mallzee, which had always been focused principally in UK, released a version of the app for the US market. The release was made in time for Black Friday. Today, it claims a "seven-figure" user base spread across 125 countries. Mallzee's CEO explained that the expansion will attract more big brands such as Zara, H&M and Urban Outfitters to join their service and create a better offering for all of their customers.
Cally Russell, founder and CEO of Mallzee, commented: "We know that Mallzee is going to change how Americans shop and save money" 
Mallzee has pioneered M Commerce, although there are other competitors in the online space including Lyst and Shopcade. Since Mallzee's launch, other similar applications have emerged such as Grabble, which launched by Daniel Murray and Joel Freeman in 2014. Grabble uses a similar swipe shopping style as Mallzee and has also been coined 'The Tinder for Fashion', the same title that Mallzee has been given by a list of fashion bloggers and media companies. However, in 2015 Mallzee's user base was twice that of Grabble's.
In September 2013 Mallzee launched the beta version of their app for iPhone and Android at London Fashion Week and promoted their updated app with a new advertising video titled 'Mallzee found me the perfect dress'. The video features fictional character Rosie, who ruins a dress the night before her friend Lauren's party and discovers that Mallzee can solve her problem and find her the perfect dress for the party. The video received positive coverage from fashion blogs, business blogs and personal bloggers throughout the social sphere. Since the launch of its beta app, marketing video and notable recent investments from big companies such as The Royal Mail and Gareth Williams from Skyscanner, Mallzee has received media coverage from Forbes, TechCrunch, Venture Beat and The Telegraph.
In February 2015 Mallzee announced an agreement with Samsung in the UK and Ireland. This deal allowed them to feature Mallzee in a number of advertisements including the Galaxy Gifts and the Samsung Galaxy app store, with promotional pricing for Samsung customers.
Commenting on the funding round, Paul Munn, director at Par Equity, said: "Mallzee is an innovative product addressing a fast changing consumer market. Choice abounds but shoppers and retailers want technology to help them make sense of the market. The team at Mallzee have made significant progress to date and this investment will provide a runway for the business in its next stage of growth and development."
Mallzee CEO Cally Russell was named in the 2016 inaugural Forbes Retail & Commerce Europe "30 Under 30".
Cally Russell appeared on the BBC show Dragons' Den in February 2015. Russell pitched his smartphone application to the Dragons and got an offer from IT entrepreneur and investor Peter Jones. The offer was £75,000 investment in exchange for 15 percent of the company. Russell turned down the offer because he did not want to give away so much equity in his company. Mallzee then went on to secure £2.5 million investment, much of it from direct inbound enquiries following the airing of Dragons' Den.
Peter Jones coined the phrase "Ballsy for Mallzee" and said that he had a hunch that the app could be the next £100 million or a £0 business.
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