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Thu 17 Sep 2015 01:14 PM

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Dubai's dubizzle invests $1m in new fashion app

Shedd app provides an online marketplace for second-hand fashion items as well as new items from small businesses

Dubai's dubizzle invests $1m in new fashion app
Alex Hutley and Tariq Zabian, co-founders of the app Shedd

dubizzle, the Dubai-based classifieds website, has invested $1 million in a new mobile-only fashion marketplace app called Shedd, created by two former employees.

A first of its kind in the UAE, Shedd provides an online marketplace for second-hand fashion items, as well as new items from small businesses and independent designers.

Shedd was incubated within dubizzle by a team led by co-founders Tariq Zabian and Alex Hutley who previously held the positions of GM emerging markets and marketing director respectively at dubizzle.

It is dubizzle's first investment on a new brand in its 10 years of trading, the founders said.

The name of the app comes from the idea of a snake
shedding its skin, losing a layer developing a new one
underneath.

According to the co-founders, the art of shedding is losing your
clothes and items, and replacing them with a new outfit.

“We really like this
idea of people constantly trying to get a new outfit, always wearing new
things, and always buying more stuff, and it’s not wasteful if we give them a
platform where they can, even if they wore it only once or twice, they can sell
it and go and buy something else. So you’re constantly shedding, constantly
changing your look,” Zabian said.

Shedd allows users to post items for sale quickly, easily and for free - with potential buyers able to filter items by social media friends or users near them, chat with other users via the app and like and comment on items.

Similar to Instagram, users are encouraged to use hashtags when posting their goods, to categorise and sort all items posted.

"The fashion industry is growing massively in the region, especially in the UAE, and although this growth has seen many new local and international brands revelling in success, the second-hand entrepreneur and hobbyist sector has been massively under-serviced," said Zabian and Hutley.

"The growth of the fashion industry, when combined with the rise of online shopping in the UAE and the increasing use of social media channels as a first port of call for those searching for fashion goods to purchase, highlighted a need to create a one-stop online marketplace providing a similar user experience to Instagram, through which aspiring designers, entrepreneurs and hobbyists can showcase their talents."

Barry Judge, dubizzle's general manager, added: "Shedd is set to completely transform the way in which consumers in the UAE buy and sell fashion goods, much like dubizzle entirely transformed the way in which people bought and sold their second-hand goods - from their cars to their homes - when it launched ten years ago.

"Alex and Tariq identified a huge gap in the UAE's fashion e-commerce market and responded by creating an engaging, social media-inspired fashion platform which we anticipate will be excitedly adopted by all UAE fashion consumers, hence why we have invested a substantial amount of money in the app - our first investment in our ten years of trading."

Now available to download for free from the Apple AppStore, Shedd will also soon be available on Android phones.

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