Picker, an app that lets you discover and buy products recommended by people you follow, has raised €1.3 million in seed funding. Backing the Barcelona-based startup is Berlin’s Btov. The company has received €2 million in funding to date, mainly from various angel investors.
Founded in 2018 by Daniel Ramos, Conan Moriarty and Enric Gabarró, Picker offers a curated marketplace that enables you to discover and buy products based on the recommendations of influencers, friends or the wider Picker community. The iOS and Android app is currently live in Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“We live in a world where buying online is an overcrowded experience, (and) good products are hidden under a mountain of junk,” says CEO Enric Gabarró, who previously worked at Zalando and has a background in influencer marketing. “Try searching for a camera on the biggest seller online, you will get more than 200,000 results. Which one is the best for you? It is impossible to know; reviews are anonymous and not related to you. As I always say, Picker is for finding the best products for you, because one trusted person beats 500 reviews”.
More broadly, Gabarró believes that “empowering good products” by sharing them with our friends, family and communities is the best way to save money and the planet, while also “supporting responsible and good manufacturers and helping our loved ones”. Or, as the company likes to say, “stop buying more, buy better”.
With that said, Picker users appear to be buying quite a lot of stuff, regardless, with the startup disclosing that it is on track to generate over €2 million in sales globally this year. Further country launches are also underway.
“We make money since the very first day,” says Gabarró, before explaining that the company has partnerships with various brands, e-commerce sites, marketplaces and resellers, and receives a cut on every sale. He tells me that brands are also interested in running campaigns together with its users, although this is something Picker is only just testing.
“Our main customers are women above 25 years old, (who are) super interested in decoration, makeup and stuff for the kids,” he adds. “We also have super niche categories where people share their favourite startup books, gardening stuff, favourite whiskeys, the hammers and screwdrivers for the backyard or even sexual toys”.
(Gabarró reveals that Spain saw a big increase in orders of sex toys during quarantine, while in Germany there was a big increase in DIY equipment during the same time period. Just shows there’s more than one way to get busy.)
Meanwhile, competitors are cited as Pinduoduo in Asia, which is more focused on discounts, and a few smaller players emerging in Europe. And of course there’s Instagram and Pinterest.
“We believe their core as a social media platform focused on making money with advertising (average time spent) offers us the big possibility of creating something new with a completely different approach based on purchase rather than advertising,” says the Picker CEO. “We are 100% aligned with the users, we want them to enter the app, find the product they want to buy or share and then leave the platform. We want to help them find the best fit for them as fast as possible without being addicted to our platform. Our focus on discovering products with social leverage is the key differentiator”.