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New Social Shopping Platform to Challenge Instagram, Amazon

Starting an online business has really never been easier.

Storr’s peer-to-peer marketing platform allows users to sell new, brand name products online, and they’re making that vision a reality for 30,000 people and counting.

The startup opened its platform to the masses Tuesday after announcing it had raised an additional $3 million in pre-series A funding from Spark Capital, a backer behind beauty brand Glossier and glasses retailer Warby Parker. The new influx of funds brought the total at launch to $7.8 million, including backing from major fashion and tech heavy hitters, like the former CEO of Neiman Marcus, the former CEO of Macys.com, the co-founder of Rent the Runway and athlete Alex Rodriguez, among others.

Unlike on Amazon or Instagram, anyone can sell on Storr. Users download the app, create an account and curate their own online storefronts with featured products. Sellers hold no inventory, and are not responsible for fulfillment costs or logistics. The platform hinges on the idea that people are more likely to buy products that are vetted and vouched for by those they know personally. (That’s instead of taking cues from Instagram celebrities receiving kickbacks from brands, or buying from a mega-corporate behemoths like Amazon.)

The platform launched with 175 brand partners including Birdies, RE/DONE, Solid & Striped and Spiritual Gangster.

For each sale, sellers earn a commission of up to 30 percent, and are also given the option of donating a portion of earnings to charities like Conservation International, DonorsChoose, The King Center, Horizons National and PAWS.

“Twenty-one percent of U.S. shoppers made a purchase as a result of peer social media recommendation, but the $3 trillion global e-commerce industry traditionally pays commissions on sales to giant, established retailers,” Eric Senn, CEO of Storr, said in a release.

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“Now, people on Storr will get a share of that revenue instead of Amazon, Instagram, or other third-party retailers. Some of our top sellers, many of whom are still in school, are already on pace for $100,000 in sales on Storr this year.”

The company’s pilot launched in January with 600 sellers, comprised mostly of lifestyle influencers, amateur athletes, college students and stay-at-home moms, the company said in a statement.

“Storr brings back the personal touch and curation that is so often lacking in today’s e-commerce environment,” explained Jennifer Fleiss, co-founder of Rent the Runway and one of Storr’s investors.

“They have built an experience that prioritizes shopping but leverages social trust, enabling consumers to share and discover favorite finds.”