Tech company Spring has raised $7.5 million in Series A investments to build a mobile shopping app, and retailers should really be paying attention.
Shopping apps are a dime a dozen these days, but Spring, co-founded by former Techstars NYC head David Tisch and his brother Alan Tisch, has loftier goals than most. David told CNBC that their goal is to create a "mobile marketplace…to create an experience that's the easiest way to shop on your phone."
Essentially, the new product should be akin to a digitized mall accessible on shoppers' phones, providing a single place where customers can conveniently browse multiple retailers. The prospect should prove especially appealing to larger brands that don't want to be forced to work through Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) in order to have an easy-to-use mobile platform for their customers.
One of the project's leading investors is Groupe Arnault, the investment arm of LVMH, a luxury goods conglomerate that owns the likes of Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Dior, meaning they have already seen potential in this new mobile option.
While there is very little concrete information on the app, CNBC reports that images will be a big focus, with one source even calling the app "Instagram with a buy button." David Tisch has also voiced his admiration for Alibaba's Tmall, suggesting the app may take some cues from the digital shopping mall as well.
It certainly couldn't hurt. The Chinese e-retailer knows a thing or two about mobile sales, since they account for around $37 billion in digital sales in China. And Alibaba's 11 Main retail website has already posed a challenge for Amazon and eBay, precisely the digital retailers Spring's app would pit itself against.
-See this CNBC story
Amazon Fire Phone could spell disaster for retailers
Alibaba files massive IPO document
Alibaba invests $700M in Chinese department store
Alibaba's IPO offers retail incentives in the US
Apple opens official store on China's Tmall website