Recently launched startup Little Black Bag strives to take social commerce to the next level. The company bases its approach on the fukubukuro, or “lucky bag sale,” in which shoppers buy a mystery bag of shopping products and then trade those items with friends. The company applies the concept to the Internet, providing customers with a mystery bag of fashion merchandise that users can then trade amongst each other.
“There is a genuine void in the online fashion category for interactivity and excitement,” said Co- Founder and CEO, Dan Murillo. “The vision for Little Black Bag is to bring the real-world thrill of discovery and shopping with friends to the Internet.”
To help commemorate its launch, the company raised $5.75 million in Series A from investors that include GRP, DCM, Chamath Palihapitiya, Tim Kendall and David Tisch. The company will use the new funding to develop its product and team.
Users are first asked questions to determine their style preferences. After answering a quick questionaire, users are then provided virtual bags, each containing a revealed item and two mystery items. Bags are purchased for a $59.95 or $49.95 monthly subscription.
If the users aren’t completely thrilled with all items in the bag, they can then trade those items with other users for modest savings. The company turns a profit on the resale margin.
The company was founded by Murillo and Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Sasha Siddhartha, both Stanford grads, along with Co-Founder and President David Weissman, most recently an executive at GSI Commerce.
“I didn’t believe there was such a thing as ‘social commerce’ before Little Black Bag,” said Weissman. “I had many start-up companies pitch me their social commerce ideas over the last 24 months, but there was nothing social about them – you shopped by yourself. Little Black bag is the first incarnation of a truly engaging social commerce experience.”