Trendsetting tech

12 Nov 2014

Author: Brad Howarth

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Ryan Junee has had to spruce up his wardrobe for his latest venture. Having already made a name for himself in Silicon Valley, by selling his online video tools company, Omnisio, to YouTube in 2008 for a reported $15 million, he is now attempting to emulate that success in the fashion world.
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His new business, Inporia, was co-founded with entrepreneur Max Skibinsky and sits at the intersection of e-commerce and mobile technology. Its current product is Fashion Kaleidoscope – a mobile application for iPhone and Android, which presents users with collections of on-trend outfits and gives them the option to buy the same or similar items.

Downloads to date have exceeded the 100,000 mark and the latest version of the app has the potential to increase this figure exponentially. It represents an important first step towards personalised recommendations, by integrating with users’ Facebook profile data to learn what they like.

“With our focus on personalisation, fashion was a good choice because there is a huge variety of each product, styles are refreshed every six months, and people have a wide range of tastes,” Junee says.

“Fashion is an industry that is relatively undisrupted by technology thus far, and there’s an opportunity for a team that has a good understanding of how the industry works, and has the technical expertise to build innovative solutions.”

The key to Inporia’s technology is its ability to analyse an image, determine the individual items it contains and provide links to an e-commerce store.

Junee has hired an experienced hand from the fashion industry to guide the way, and has signed the first of what he hopes will be many partnership deals with Condé Nast’s men’s magazine Details.

“It has been eye-opening, getting involved in the fashion industry,” Junee says. “Going to tech parties in San Francisco is one thing, but going to parties for Fashion Week in New York is another thing entirely.”