Waterloo-based tech startup Pronti is a smart closet app that recommends what-to-wear based on your closet items, choices, and mood. Using artificial intelligence, Pronti is building the ultimate platform for users and fashion brands to connect. The company works closely with retail brands to help retailers find new customers and offers a more personalized way to shop.
Pronti was founded in 2021 and had a massive growth as it reached 600K onboard users recently. We had the opportunity to chat with Mila Banerjee on building and scaling Pronti app.
What was the inspiration behind Pronti app?
Mila and Andrea both had a retail background where we experienced the struggle to accurately personalize to customers. As a brand, you don’t really have an understanding of how consumers use your products and the context they shop for.
On the other side, we found that consumers have immense frustration putting outfits together and finding new clothing items that go with their own personal style. They hate endlessly scrolling through eCommerce stores trying to find something that fits their likes and needs.
We put both sides together and created a product that gives consumers a smart wardrobe assistant and retailers the ability to get their products in front of the right customer.
How is Pronti empowering users to personalize their closet?
Pronti is hyper personalizing shopping by using the knowledge of user’s closets and style to find items and recommend them in context – in an outfit. Users then buy items more consciously, making sure that they are going to actually use what they are purchasing.
In addition, users love the inspiration of all the outfits Pronti puts together. It gives users personalized outfit suggestions with the clothes they own. The app is also an amazing tool for visualizing and organizing what they have in their closet.
You mentioned “putting the product in front of the right customers”. How does Pronti help retailers leverage your platform to connect with new and existing customers?
Pronti understands users in detail and then matches new products with users that have a similar style. This alleviates the work for retailers trying to get valuable exposure. Fashion brands are used to inputting their target demographic themselves in digital advertising. With Pronti, the matching between customer and product is created by the ML models, putting products in front of customers that are more likely to buy them.
We also help with the barrier to personalization as every user is able to take their closet shopping with them- seeing hyper-relevant outfits.
Congrats on this incredible milestone on the downloads! What’s the growth been for Pronti app?
We’ve had amazing growth! Since January 2022, Pronti has onboarded more than 600,000 users and our superusers (32K) have uploaded more than 3M clothing items.
As consumers and brands shift towards more sustainable products, what does buy more consciously entail?
Buying consciously goes even further than just merely choosing sustainable products. Conscious buying means also having deeper thoughts on how many wears the new item is going to get. Have you ever bought something new only to have it sit in the closet? This is why our shop with closet feature is so helpful. We showcase a new item in users’ outfits, showing them how they might wear the item. Ensuring that the new purchase is going to be used.
The app also helps customers use what they already have in their closets by creating novel outfits from what they own.
What’s next for Pronti?
On the customer side, we are working on really cool features that our users have been asking for a long time! This includes features like uploading closet items from past purchases, sharing to social, and exciting new ways to shop.
On the retailer side, we just started onboarding great brands! We are open to new brands applying to be recommended in the app.
What challenges do you see in your industry? What does the future look like?
Retailers historically had only one foot into eCommerce and mobile, but now they truly understand that online and omnichannel (the transition from online to real life) is not only a growth area but a requirement.
Pronti is on a path to revolutionize the way we shop and dress. We want to fundamentally change the burden to find what you love and self-expressing.
If you had to go back in time, what would you do differently for your startup?
We would go back and give ourselves tips on parsing the difference between someone who can push your thinking forward versus someone who is missing the vision. If you can test it with a user or a customer it is valuable and that is what will help you iterate.
Since the start of our journey, we had a strong orientation to speaking to users, and finding what they resonate with. They have shared with us many intimate things about their motivations and self-actualization needs. Users & customers are your most valuable compass and that is what will help you iterate.
What is one piece of advice, do you have for founders and aspiring entrepreneurs to grow their businesses?
Keep on iterating and talking to users! We got to more than half a million onboarded users by talking to thousands of them and losing many on the way. Sometimes what works is nothing you would have drawn up from a blank slate – this is especially true for our social media!! The path to conversion and retention is rocky but if you keep modifying and evolving you are only going to move forward.
How can people find out more about Pronti?
Download us on the app or play store and follow us on social media! Linkedin is the platform we use to post about exciting company updates. Our Tiktok, Instagram, and Pinterest are great accounts to follow to know more about how to use the app and get the most out of it!