Boticca is an interesting startup based in London that just raised $2.4 million led by ISAI, a micro-VC fund of French entrepreneurs whose managing director we interviewed recently.Boticca is a marketplace that connects buyers with under-the-radar designers who want to sell jewelry and fashion accessories in a more “upscale” site than, say, eBay or Etsy.
We spoke with Boticca’s co-founder and CEO Kiyan Foroughi about the startup’s concept and where they’re going.
Foroughi told us he got the idea for Boticca after travelling to Morocco where he met a really talented artisan making jewellery, who had to spend most of her time trekking to and from cities to sell her creations.
Foroughi “did a bunch of research and realised that there wasn’t a site out there that: 1) focused only on talented, emerging fashion accessories designers; 2) did it in a luxury retail environment; 3) gave designers the lion share of the economics (they make 75% of the retail price with us as opposed to the 30-40% that they are used to with stockists and retailers) and 4) gave them distribution and brand recognition on a truly global basis.” He and his co-founder Avid Larizadeh launched the site in October 2010.
Another thing that makes Boticca stand out is its truly global audience: one third North America, one third Europe and one third Middle East and Asia. In fact, Foroughi tells us he chose London as a base of operations because it’s in the middle of the world’s time zones and so best place to build a business that’s global from day one.
The startup now has 9 employees representing 7 nationalities and hopes to grow that fast with the new funding. Boticca, which hand-selects each designer it accepts, now has 180 of them and is adding about 20 a month.
The prospects for the business seem to be good. The store already has high selection and it does seem to tap a market that’s in need of an offering like that. Foroughi tells us the average purchase is above $160 excluding shipping, which is high for online retail, though it makes sense for luxury/fashion accessories.
So the business definitely looks promising. Let’s see what it’s like now.
You can also shop for products by which celebrities wore them; here, this necklace was on Gossip Girl
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