Good news for Coco collectors, Burberry buffs and Fendi fans alike: there’s a new fashion app taking the world by storm. Shedd, the mobile-only market place for fashion items, is currently available in Dubai and Bulgaria, and preparing launch in five new markets. In order to facilitate their ambitious growth plans, they are building their own big data infrastructure and hiring a Data Scientist for their soon-to-open Barcelona office.
The Shedd story starts in the summer of 2015 at Dubizzle, the leading classifieds website in the Middle East and North Africa. Dubizzle-employees Tariq Zabian and Alex Hutley were both based in Dubai, the capital of #neverworn. They noticed that the fashion industry in the region was booming. According to a survey, 43 percent of women in the region owned at least five items that never made it out of the wardrobe, with the tags still intact. Although many new local and international brands were reveling in success, Zabian and Hutley also noticed there was nothing major going on in the second-hand sector.
“We are trying to help the world make better use of its possessions. We see the biggest opportunity right now in the fashion segment, where globalization, increased dispensable income in emerging markets, social media obsession, and fast fashion are creating consumerism that is spiraling out of control.” – Tariq Zabian, Co-founder of Shedd
So when they came up with the idea for a mobile-only fashion marketplace, they buckled down and quickly put together a business plan. Shedd was incubated within Dubizzle and soon became an autonomous spin-off, with Zabian and Hutley as co-founders, backed by investor Naspers. The app is currently available in UAE and Bulgaria, and will soon expand to five further markets.
The Shedd motto is “Buy it / Wear it / Shedd it”, and it really is as simple as that. All you have to do to sell an item is take a photo, upload it, write a blurb and add some hashtags. All listing are reviewed by a team of specialists before they’re added. That’s all there’s to it. Shopping is just as easy. You can use location services to browse everything that’s close by, click on hashtags or you can use the search function to look for specific items or your favorite brands.
“We’re a young and hungry company with a global footprint, benefiting from the backing and experience of global powerhouse Naspers, to scale quickly. We are aggressively expanding into new markets, and are still agile enough to test and iterate design systems with pace (as a start-up would).” – Alex Hutley, Co-founder of Shedd
The success of Shedd is built on heaps and heaps of data. Data is great, but truth to be told, it’s only as good as the architecture it lives in and the algorithms processing it. As Shedd is scaling up within current markets and expanding to five new markets, they are creating a new role for a Data Scientist. The Data Scientist will design and develop the data architecture and algorithms to power the future business platform. Recommendation engines, automated personalized customer lifecycle treatments and automated fraud detection are high on the wish list for algorithms at the moment.
The Data Scientist will closely collaborate with the Product and Business teams to identify and develop novel Data Science applications for a fast and social digital marketplace. The Shedd way of working is super agile, so when experimenting with new data science applications, the Data Scientist will quickly iterate development and testing.
The Data Scientist will also collaborate with global and regional OLX Data Science teams. Their experience with wider classifieds Data Science applications is a goldmine. The challenge for the Shedd Data Scientist is to use their learnings to build applications (such as recommendation algorithms) that are suitable to the challenges of a fashion marketplace (e.g. minimal cold start problem, accommodating implicit ratings etc.). The Data Scientist will also design and develop a data architecture for Shedd which will enable live deployment of online machine learning techniques.
Suitable candidates will likely have a quantitative degree and/or PhD, more than 3 years’ experience as a Data Scientist and experience with recommendation systems in a business setting. Languages used for statistical computing and Machine Learning are nice to have.
“If pioneering is your strong suit, you’ll fit right in. Shedd is an environment where you’re challenged to keep exploring and learning new things.” – Benjamin Cohen, Growth Manager at Shedd
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