Bump, the online streetwear marketplace that aims to become “the Amazon for Gen Z”, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding.

The funding was led by high profile California-based investors e.ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Y Combinator “and a few close angels”.

Student support

Bump, launched with the support of Edinburgh Innovations’ LAUNCH.ed service for student entrepreneurs, has nearly 2 million registered users, many of them teenagers. Having begun as a “reverse marketplace”, Bump’s mission today is to “help Gen Z shop with their friends online”.

Co-founders Sam Howarth and Jack Ryder, who became friends when they were at school together in Newcastle, created Bump after encountering frustrations when buying and selling streetwear on existing platforms.

Ryder built the app in 2016 after teaching himself to code, and the two worked closely with the online streetwear community to tailor their platform to meet users’ needs.

They were supported by LAUNCH.ed when Howarth was studying Business Management at the University of Edinburgh. The app launched in August 2017.

Bump was a joint winner of the Enterprise Award in EI’s 2017 Inspire Launch Grow awards, and Howarth and Ryder were on the judging panel for the 2018 awards.

Y Combinator accelerator

In March 2018 the Bump founders completed the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator programme in Silicon Valley, whose alumni include AirBnB and Dropbox.

They received three months of intensive support to develop their business before pitching to high-profile investors at the end of the programme. They received backing from investors including Kleiner Perkins, the Menlo Park-based firm that has previously invested in the likes of Google, Amazon and Twitter.

Social shopping

Howarth and Ryder say users prefer Bump over other streetwear marketplaces because of its social features, such as messaging and follower relationships – which make shopping a shared social experience.

“Our mission is to make all commerce social,” writes Ryder in a recent blog. “To do that, we see bump becoming the Amazon for Gen Z where you can shop for anything and you don’t have to do it alone. To get there we’re up for the challenge of turning shopping into a multiplayered experience.”

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