Verishop: The New Face of eCommerce
Verishop is uplifting customer experience, bringing fun back for everyone!
When Amazon first appeared - online shopping flourished; more people relied upon online shopping because it was more practical. However, the online stores piled up on the virtual scene, and taking up eCommerce as a business required more innovation.
Imran Khan not only brought freshness to online shopping, but he gave eCommerce a new face. While the innovation in eCommerce was internal, generally speaking, Imran decided to create a discovery platform where users can find products and inspiration in one place.
Verify is a platform for users to find everything they need - from verified branded products, clothes, inspiration, content, influencers, and the list goes on. Mildly speaking, Verify is Instagram, Amazon, and Pinterest, all in one.
Imran believed that shopping was supposed to be fun, and he made it his mission to deliver that message. However, leaving a perfect job to startup was not an easy road to take, read all about it below.
The Story of a Persistent Boy
Imran Khan was born in Bangladesh, India, on June 16, 1977. He spent his childhood in Bangladesh, but his mind often wandered around the world. He was always curious about the world and all things new, which is a clear sign of an entrepreneur in the making.
What influenced Imran the most while he grew up was the US. He dreamed of living in the States, watching US movies, listening to US music, going to Eagles' concerts... Basically, he was mesmerized by America.
However, Imran graduated high school in Bangladesh, and soon he had to choose where to continue his studies. Imran was already aware that his greatest dream was to study in the US and become part of the culture.
Going to the US in the 90s was a huge risk. First of all, people weren't as informed as today with the Internet. In fact, back in the 90s, the internet wasn't massively adopted as it is today. So, Imran would often go to magazine stores and read all the US papers to find US universities' contact information. He used to e-mail every university available to get further directions on signing up for studies for a student from India.
Imran tirelessly wrote to US universities, and he patiently waited for their feedback.
A Random Reply, but a Deliberate Success
Out of all those school e-mails Imran has sent out, he got one reply from Denver University. The university sent him a brochure of academic studies and a perfect freshman guide on the campus. What seemed to catch his attention the most was that in Denver, there are 300 sunny days a year, and sunshiny weather is always a motivational booster.
Imran signed up to Denver University, and he stated his papers procedure. In a month or so, he got his visa and was ready to leave India.
The arrival to Denver was one of his milestones in Imran’s career development and character-building, as he met lots of friends who later became his partners and lifelong supporters.
Rewind the late 90s, when he showed up at campus, one of his first friends was Erik McKeisik. Ever since the first day, they became inseparable.
Imran graduated from Denver University in 2000 with honors and became one of the best students of his generation.
Wall Street Hours Hit Different
The title of his first job was a research analyst covering the Internet at Wall Street. The experience he gained there was the toughest career cardio one can do. And, Imran did an exceptional job there for which he became super famous.
In 2004, he attended an event where he met the founders of Alibaba. They've heard of him and were really impressed with his job, and wanted to collaborate with Imran on research because he knew the Internet on a more personal level. However, the collaboration officially happened in 2009.
While the stars aligned, Imran landed a job at Alibaba as a banker. After working for Alibaba for a while, Imran managed to save up a substantial amount of money, enabling him to buy Yahoo shares. That move helped Imran raise money and bring the story to a billion-like success.
Probably, this was a pivotal moment in his career, because, after a short time, Imran got a call from Eric - the founder of Snapchat. He explained that he needs a research analyst who can help the company rise, and at that time, Imran was both thrilled and a little frightened. But, let's prescribe that fear to a positive one because he managed to lift the company from 0 to 100 in 4 years, and Snapchat became a multi-billion-dollar company. Imran ended up working at Snapchat for 4 years.
But, after all those years riding in the backseat with this titan entrepreneurship fellas, Imran felt it's time to switch cars and get on an entrepreneurial high himself. And so it was.
Taking eCommerce on a Higher Level
While he covered the Internet for years, one thing he learned about users' habits is that everything's reduced to search bars. People searched music on Youtube or Spotify, then they'd go to Instagram to search for celebrities, Pinterest was their inspiration board, and they'd go to Amazon to buy various products. Then, eCommerce or online shopping became more and more popular by the day.
However, what eCommerce seemed to lack was a front-end innovation. In other words, each page is similar to one another and functions more or less on the same principles - looking for a product, paying, and shipping. But, what about changing the entire purpose?
Imran noticed the lack of innovation in eCommerce and told his wife, who was working at Amazon at that time, that there's a way to change the eCommerce narration.
The idea to change the front-end innovation was a discovery platform where users can find their most wanted brands. But, that wasn't the only idea to improve eCommerce. Imran and his team designed an Amazon-like site, only with much faster free shipping to offer a better customer experience.
Verishop is much broader than a regular eCommerce spot. It's a platform where you can find over 1000 verified brands for both men and women, from top to bottom items. Also, on Verishop, users can find skincare and makeup items, as well as home decorations. However, at Verishop, users can share ideas, and find inspiration as part of their online experience journey.
To uplift the user experience, at Verishop, users can create their profile and upload and share photos with the Verishop's community or pin their inspiration. Moreover, users can get to follow their influencers and favorite fashion brands.
To please its respected customers, Verify's customer support works around the clock - 24/7. Also, for orders over $35, Verishop surprises its clients with free shipping.
This idea of Verishop was brought to life thanks to Lightspeed Venture Partners - the lead investors. Verishop's first success was a few months after the launch or during the second round when the company raised $17.5 million.
In the beginning, the company started working with a few employees working in offices in Santa Monica. But, over time, they managed to raise the number of employees close to 100. The success - all due to the pandemic when eCommerce became the only option for safe shopping. Also, during the early 2020s, more and more people obtained online shopping habits.
Challenges as Part of the Journey
When running a company - challenges and difficulties are inevitable. The main issue was getting investors to pitch the idea. Yes, that's the most difficult part of the start-up, but that doesn't mean that everything will be all blue skies and butterflies afterward. Imran points out that the main difficulties come after you take the ride.
Imran made it clear that every day in a startup is a challenge. For example, Imran was a financial analyst, which means he knew the stats well. Becoming objective is the hardest and the most crucial skill any entrepreneur has to develop. Furthermore, working with people brings lots of debates. Sometimes, he'd take the advice and fail, sometimes a client would cut it and fail again. Moreover, Imran's challenges are progressive, which means an entrepreneur must adjust to the risks, otherwise, they shouldn't take the entrepreneurial life. It's an extreme sport only few can enjoy.
Up till today, Verishop’s strength can be measured by standing toe-to-toe with Amazon - an eCommerce titan, and raising $30 million.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Verishop employs almost one hundred people, the best of the best in the business. Also, over the short period of its existence, the company not only raised the numbers of its employees but of its revenue, too.
However, Verishop’s mission isn’t to tackle its competitors but to provide a better online shopping experience.
Keeping pace with the trends, Verishop is an app that’s available on all smartphone operating systems, making it a neat app to have on the go!