by YesPlz, October 2020
YesPlz secured $1.51 million in total seed funding with investors from Korea and from the US including initial investors PrimerSazze and igniteXL Ventures both based in Silicon Valley. We are excited to announce the launch of the world’s first visual search filter that helps style online consumers through personalized AI technology. By selecting just a few design parts, the AI-powered filter makes it possible to instantly provide suggestions from thousands of clothing and footwear options.
YesPlz is led by CEO and Co-founder Jiwon Hong and CTO, Sukjae Cho. Hong has spent her career building search and recommendation engines, and Cho brings experience as a former member of the Microsoft XBox team and ML engineer. The founding members have teamed up to leverage AI technology to create an ingenious and personal experience that brings the best of offline shopping, online.
“This launch has been a labor of love - of fashion and of user friendly technology,” shared Jiwon Hong, CEO and co-founder of YesPlz. “It’s a dream to finally launch the world's first AI based visual search filter that allows for an intuitive, fun and curated online shopping experience. No more endless scrolling down to see irrelevant clothing.” With this investment, we look forward to growing our team and scaling our production right away.”
Keeping up with constant updates to technology and fashion trends can be both expensive and difficult to execute. To address this challenge of the e-commerce industry, YesPlz has created a universal ‘fashion language’ relatable to any consumer, through their Style Filter. The unique search capabilities of the filter allow consumers to visually communicate their style preferences, guiding the YesPlz proprietary algorithm to deliver search results curated for that consumer. The filter empowers consumers to find a product they are looking for without having to be a fashion expert.
“With the challenges of living in a Covid-19 world, online shopping has only increased,” shared Gyyoung Kim, EVP of KOLON Industries, Inc. FnC Organization, the leading global fashion company in Korea. “As an online retailer, creating the best virtual shopping experience you can is even more critical than it ever was. What YesPlz has created both empowers the consumer today and makes it personal with their innovative technology.”
Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reports that COVID-19 lockdowns have led to an uptick in first-time e-commerce shoppers. 14% of consumers in the United States and 17% of consumers in China bought fashion items online for the first time because of the pandemic.
While the Style Filter debuted with its first international client in Korea - Kolonmall.com - in September of this year, the company is planning additional client launches for this fall and the end of the year, in time for the busy holiday shopping season.
Unpredictability is unfortunately the norm for 2020, with fashion retailers experiencing unexpected twists and turns over the year. In the context of a pandemic as well as shifting customer expectations, it may be difficult to determine which business decisions to apply to your brand this holiday season.
Taxonomy is essential in fashion because of the large number of products inherent in the industry, and it points us in the right direction to help us find the clothing we’re looking for.