Elizabetta Camilleri believes everyone should have their own Brand Universe. Her start-up, Shopological, helps consumers sift through the saturated fashion and beauty market to make the most of the choices at their fingertips. This is how she started up.
Name: Elizabetta Camilleri
Date launched: September 2016
Number of employees: 22
What does your business do?
Shopological is an online platform which provides customers with the latest updates from the fashion and beauty brands they love.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I love shopping and owning beautiful things but I rarely have the time to spend hours browsing through the high street or even websites. I wanted to find all the latest updates and promotions in one place – I thought there must be an app for that. But to my surprise I found there was nothing out there. I saw a gap in the market and an opportunity for a business, and so began our journey.
How did you know there was a market for it?
It was something I wanted on a personal level, but our focus in the first year at the London Business School startup incubator was to test whether a small group of people would use it. They loved it, and so did a lot of other people, as we now have over two million customers, with 100% year on year growth. It’s great to have my business idea validated by the public and to know that I am not the only lazy shopper out there!
How did you raise funding, and why?
We launched in 2011 as part of the London Business School’s incubator programme, and raised funding through a small network of Angel investors. We have raised a total of £1.6m to expand the business and turn it into what it is today.
Describe your business model in brief.
Shopological tells people everything they need to know about the fashion and beauty brands they love, from the latest sales to the newest collections, offers, trends and tips, all in one place, creating the ultimate personalised shopping experience.
By understanding consumer spending habits and preferences we can tell each individual about the brands we think they may love as well as the ones they already do, creating a tailored brand universe for every customer.
What was your first big milestone and when did you cross it?
Reaching one million users. It was proof that the business model was working and that people were responding to and engaging with our platform.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Treat starting up a company like a computer game. There are a series of levels, you may not always win and you may get stuck on a certain level. However, if you want to succeed you have to persevere and keep trying. At the start it will seem difficult but quite quickly you will genuinely get addicted to it.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
At the moment we work with over 1,400 brands, from high street to high end, and have over two million registered users. In five years we would love to be leading Shopological to the next stage, with 50 million users in 25 core shopping cities around the world.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be…
A professional racing sailor. I have a passion for sailing, I have always loved it. It is very social sport and something I try and squeeze in during my spare time.
What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell?
For me, there’s a solution for every problem. In business it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the negative and consider throwing in the towel. I think the key to success is perseverance. Don’t give up. If you stay in the race and keep working hard, you might just find the solution that puts you miles ahead of your competition.