Halifax-based mobile commerce fashion company Dash Hudson, co-founded in 2014 by Thomas Rankin and Tomek Niewiarowski, has received a $1 million investment from Innovacorp, an early stage venture capital fund focusing on Nova Scotia entrepreneurs.
Dash Hudson was born during a moment when founder Thomas Rankin attempted to buy a product on Instagram, only to find that the link was already dead when he clicked “buy”.
Frustrated by the experience, Rankin contacted Niewiarowski and the two started working on a solution to the problem.
Launched only in December, the Dash Hudson app, self-described as “beautiful, simple and dangerous”, has reached an audience of over 3 million, according to CEO Thomas Rankin.
As far as they’ve come in such a short time, Rankin has already expressed a desire for Dash Hudson to become “a global retailer”.
Dash Hudson allows users to shop for fashion visually, using a proprietary technique, which heavily involves the visual social media platform Instagram.
“For our audience, Instagram is their stage, their glossy mag, and their shopping mall,” said Mr. Rankin. “We have had a great response, especially from the 18-24 female shopper. Our growth has enabled us to build new technology to help both brands and creators be successful. With brands spending over $1 billion per year on Instagram marketing, with no ROI, there’s a big opportunity for us to help turn that spend into meaningful results. 2015 will be the year the smartest brands and agencies put Instagram marketing dollars into campaigns that do much more than just generate likes.”
Dash Hudson has developed a platform wherein a user can like an image uploaded by a creator and then seamlessly buy the item, either through Apple Pay or another means of checkout. Dash Hudson handles the order processing and can expedite shipping complications, such as bundling products into a single shipment.
Previously, Dash Hudson raised $400,000 in June 2014 through former Groupon CTO Paul Gauthier and DHX Media co-founder Charles Bishop.
Rankin is currently also negotiating the close of a second round of funding from another investor.