Lily raises $2M from NEA and others for a personal stylist service that considers feelings, not just fit


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One of many causes lately IPO’d Sew Repair grew to become so well-liked amongst feminine buyers is due to the way it pairs the comfort of dwelling try-on for clothes and niknaks with a private styling service that adapts to your tastes over time. However typically, private stylists deliver their very own subjective takes on style to their prospects. A brand new startup referred to as Lily goals to supply a extra personalised service that takes into consideration not simply what’s on development or what seems to be good, but additionally how girls really feel about their our bodies and the way the correct clothes can affect these perceptions.

The corporate has now closed on $2 million in seed funding from NEA and different buyers to additional develop its know-how, which as we speak includes an iOS software, net app and API platform that retailers can combine with their very own catalogs and digital storefronts.

To higher perceive a girl’s private preferences round style, Lily makes use of a mix of algorithms and machine studying strategies to advocate clothes that matches, flatters and makes a girl really feel good.

Initially, Lily asks the person a couple of fundamental questions on physique sort and elegance preferences, nevertheless it additionally asks girls how understand their physique.

For instance, if Lily asks about bra dimension, it wouldn’t simply ask for the scale a girl wears, but additionally how they consider this physique half.

“I’m well-endowed,” a girl would possibly reply, even when she’s solely a full B or smaller C – which isn’t essentially the truth. This form of response helps to show Lily about how the lady thinks of her physique and its varied components, to assist it craft its suggestions. That very same lady could need to decrease her chest, or she could like to point out off her cleavage, she could say.

However as she retailers Lily’s suggestions on this space, the service learns what types of things the lady really chooses after which adapts accordingly.

This deal with understanding girls’s emotions about clothes is one thing that units Lily aside.

“Ladies are searching for garments to highlight the components of their physique they really feel most comfy with and conceal those that make them really feel insecure,” explains Lily co-founder and CEO, Purva Gupta. “A buyer comes to a decision as a result of based mostly on whether or not a particular reduce will disguise her stomach or downplay a characteristic they don’t like. But shops do nothing to information girls towards these preferences or take the time to grasp the explanations behind their alternatives,” she says.

Gupta got here up with the concept for Lily after shifting to New York from India, the place she felt overwhelmed by the overseas procuring tradition. She was surrounded by a lot alternative, however didn’t know the way to discover the clothes that will match her effectively, or these gadgets that will make her really feel good when sporting them.

She puzzled if her intimidation was one thing American girls – not simply immigrants like herself – additionally felt. For a 12 months, Gupta interviewed others, asking them one query: what prompted them to purchase the final merchandise of clothes they bought, both on-line or offline? She realized that these selections have been typically prompted by feelings.

Having the ability to create a service that might match up the correct clothes based mostly on these emotions was an enormous problem, nonetheless.

“I knew that this was a really laborious downside, and this was a know-how downside,” says Gupta. “There’s just one approach to clear up this at scale – to make use of know-how, particularly synthetic intelligence, deep studying and machine studying. That’s going to assist me do that at scale at any retailer.”

To coach Lily’s algorithms, the corporate spent two-and-half years constructing out its assortment of 50 million plus knowledge factors and analyzing over 1,000,000 product suggestions for customers. The top result’s that a person merchandise of clothes could have over 1,000 attributes assigned to it, which is then used to match up with the hundreds of attributes related to the person in query.

“This degree of element will not be out there wherever,” notes Gupta.

In Lily’s app, which works as one thing of a demo of the know-how at hand, customers can store suggestions from 60 shops, starting from Perpetually 21 to Nordstrom, by way of value. (Lily as we speak makes affiliate income from gross sales).

As well as, the corporate is now starting to pilot its know-how with a handful of shops on their very own websites – particulars it plans to announce in a couple of months’ time. This can enable buyers to get distinctive, personalised suggestions on-line that is also translated to the offline retailer within the type of reserved gadgets awaiting you once you’re out procuring.

Although it’s early days for Lily, its speculation is proving appropriate, says Gupta.

“We’ve seen between 10x to 20x conversion charges,” she claims. “That’s what’s very thrilling and promising, and why these massive retailers are speaking to us.”

The pilot checks are paid, however the pricing particulars for Lily’s service for retailers should not but set in stone so the corporate declined to talk about them.

The startup was additionally co-founded by CTO Sowmiya Chocka Narayanan, beforehand of Field and Pocket Gems. It’s now a staff of 16 full-time in Palo Alto.

Along with NEA, different backers embody World Founders Capital, Triplepoint Capital, Suppose + Ventures, Varsha Rao (Ex-COO of Airbnb, COO of Clover Well being), Geoff Donaker (Ex-COO of Yelp), Jed Nachman (COO, Yelp), Unshackled Ventures and others.


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