Interviews

Grabble Is Making Fashion Discovery A Doddle

Grabble combines fashion with technology - two industries that never stand still - to bring eyeballs to great brands. Here, co-founder Daniel Murray explains how the business plans to shoot for the moon.

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Grabble combines fashion with technology - two industries that never stand still - to bring eyeballs to great brands. Here, co-founder Daniel Murray explains how the business plans to shoot for the moon.

Interviews

Grabble Is Making Fashion Discovery A Doddle

Grabble combines fashion with technology - two industries that never stand still - to bring eyeballs to great brands. Here, co-founder Daniel Murray explains how the business plans to shoot for the moon.

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Grabble Is Making Fashion Discovery A Doddle

Daniel Murray, co-founder of online fashion feed Grabble, explains why the industry needs a website like his, why launching as a team is better than doing it alone and why hiring the best from the beginning is an essential element of any business' survival prospects.

What's your background

Joel was at PwC consulting on technology brands, I was in advertising, but my family has been in fashion for about 70 years - with fashion manufacturing, so I've grown up with it around me.

How did Grabble come about?

We had started a daily deal site, which was successful but didn't give either of us any joy whatsoever; the only valuable thing we took from it was discovering that up and coming fashion entrepreneurs and retailers were struggling to sell their products online as they were too small to have data feeds, and we thought this might be an interesting problem to solve.

So we began by solving it for retailers, then we decided to add a consumer element, and eventually we realised the real challenge for all was mobile and focused entirely on this problem.

What is Grabble?

It's the fastest and best way to shop fashion from your phone. You swipe left and right through a curated feed of amazing products discovered by our team of stylists who are led by Cherry Collins, our fashion director who used to head up the Styling teams at Net A Porter Group, so she makes sure that every product has been carefully selected as perfect for our audience.

Users can also discover trend edits for style inspiration, and buy everything through the app. Whenever you save a product, we track the price - so if it goes on sale, you'll get an alert. It's very simple, and that's our USP.

How has it been received?

We've been awarded "Best Tech Startup" at the Drapers awards, which is the UK's fashion industry publication, so we have been recognised by retailers in the premium competition which was very exciting. We've been named "Best New App" in 34 countries by Apple. We've won Pitch at the Palace and awarded a prize by HRH Prince Andrew.

We've had over 100 million swipes on products by our very active audience. All in all, we think it's been received by tech, fashion, and consumer perspectives in the best way imaginable.

How did you approach getting funding – why were you successful?

We just really believed in our product and let our investors know they could trust us both to work harder at accomplishing our dream than anyone else.

We truly work non-stop and have a great balance as co-founders, completely complementary skills, and we empower our amazing team because we are extremely picky in the recruitment process - no one has ever left Grabble yet, so we are building the best culture full of talented people, and that is infectious, and I think really obvious when potential investors come to visit.

Hiring well is everything, and the proof is in the pudding where we are concerned.

Daniel Joel Grabble

Founding a business as a pair (or a team) solves a lot of problems that sole traders deal with alone

Why is it good to launch as a team (with co-founders as opposed to alone)?

I could go on forever about this. Joel and I are working 24-7 and there's two of us, I have no idea how people manage as just one - there's so much admin that kills creativity, or deadlines that pass, and we wouldn't have been able to compete in competitions that put us on the stage with incredible people if there was just one of us, or hire the right people because we have different perspectives, look for different things, and its that balance that really makes hiring the right people for the right company much better.

How do you see technology working for the fashion industry?

I see it improving hugely of course, not just behind the scenes with manufacturing and processes but for the every day consumer - I think all these processes will give a huge boost to up and coming retailers offering them opportunities to compete based entirely on taste, matching algorithms and finding audiences they never could before with just straight up brand advertising, and that's amazing for consumers and retailers alike.

What is your best tip for other tech start-ups?

It's all about the team - never compromise your culture. You can work with whoever you want to, every single day, so why compromise that at any point? Every member of the team at Grabble is someone I'd go on a long flight with and enjoy every minute - so work back from that kind of ideal.

What’s your best tip for securing funding?

Be passionate. No one wants to invest in people who are unsure of what they are doing, passion is infectious, if you truly demonstrate you are passionate about your product, then the fact you will hit road bumps on the way etc will be ignored and even forgiven, if you can build a bond with an investor, you are in a great starting point. You will have to work with most, so getting on is pretty key.

What’s your view on the strength of UK technology businesses today?

It's very impressive - I'm always very proud to be British and of the incredible accomplishments we make in every area of industry (minus football) so it's awesome to see the stats around just how much we contribute.

In the app game who else could we possibly look up to more than Shazam - they have the best rated app in the world and are a company based in Notting Hill, originally a texting service - absolutely amazing, and how they have diversified their product range has been inspirational. If we get close to their status then we will be a proud team.

How will Grabble grow in future?

At the right pace. There's a lot of value in viral growth but ultimately we are in a consumer business and we need to keep our current customers happy.

Its no good having 10 million unhappy customers just because you can say you have 10 million users - we need to make sure all our customers are happy and stay around, and from that we will grow slowly but surely through the authentic means of word of mouth and fandom. That's my preferred method for sure. But the odd press hit doesn't hurt.

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Grabble Is Making Fashion Discovery A Doddle

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