Pickie Raises $1 Million as App Catalog Trend Kicks Into High Gear

Pickie is announcing today that it has raised $1 million in capital and is launching its new iPad shopping application by the same name.

The New York-based company is part of a recent trend to make shopping on the iPad easier and more fun than sifting through an offline catalog.

Pickie participated in TechStars in New York this spring, and was co-founded by Sonia Sahney Nagar, who previously worked as a product manager at Booz & Company and Amazon. The company is announcing today that it has raised its first round of seed financing. Investors include DFJ Gotham, Betaworks, Liberty City Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, MESA+ and several angels.

It is also launching its app, also called Pickie. Once a user logs in to the app using Facebook and sets up his or her account, including interests such as home goods, books or fashion, the app will start scanning Pinterest and Twitter for product recommendations. Similar to a magazine or even a catalog, Pickie will tie together the experience with some of its own editorial, but the real advantage is that Pickie will allow you to click to go to the retailer’s site and buy an item without ever leaving the application. Today, users must leave Pinterest and sometimes have to dig several layers deep to find the items they want to buy.

Another recently launched iPad app that is trying to solve a similar problem is Flit, which aggregates a user’s favorite stores into one app, eliminating the need to switch between multiple browser tabs to shop.

Earlier this year, Apple added an App Store category called “catalogs,” obviously recognizing the trend of digitizing the experience of receiving a glossy circular in the mail. Today, there are hundreds in the category from retailers like Jo-Ann and L.L. Bean. There are catalog collections, too, with a handful of well-known brands, including CoffeeTable, Google Catalogs and Catalog Spree.

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