Social Development Bank allocates $2.9 billion to support Saudi entrepreneurs
Saudi Arabia-based AI fashion marketplace Taffi will officially launch next month after 18 months of product testing
RIYADH: After a year and a half of start-up and product development, Taffi entrepreneur and co-founder Shahad Geoffrey said they are working on a test basis and the Saudi fashion startup will be launched on next month.
Taffi is an artificial intelligence or AI-powered fashion marketplace that allows stylists to manage their online customers and acquire new ones.
“It’s been a year and a half since we entered the market. Since our launch, we see the demand, the market is actually ready for this type of consumer product,” Geoffrey said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
“After Covid, everyone is moving to online shopping, and this shift has made it easier for us to introduce new products and the adaptability rate is much higher,” Geoffrey added.
She embarked on the natural entrepreneurial journey to start and run her business, it started when she found a gap in the market that she experienced herself. “I was looking for a personal styling or shopping service, and I couldn’t find one,” she said.
It all started in 2020, when Geoffrey was working in the Bay Area, at a venture capital firm, and was about to go on a trip to Hawaii with his family.
“I found companies like (online styling service) Stitch Fix and (clothing subscription service) Trunk Club at that time, which are very successful businesses. But they didn’t solve my problems, so I was very inspired,” Geoffrey added, “asking why don’t we have anything like it? Then I decided to build this product because I was looking for it. And I believe there’s many other consumers looking for this product.
“When it comes to fashion, it’s my passion, I did styling, but I never imagined finding a solution in the fashion industry,” she said.
With just enough to start, Geoffrey set about building the product, boosted after winning a US pitch competition prize of SR10,000 ($2,667).
Goeffrey added, “At a pitch contest in Beverly Hills, I just pitched my idea Taffi.”
The business model, however, evolved after the pitch. Geoffrey explained that it was the same concept, but “iterated a lot” after launch.
After working on B2B services to raise funds and get started for an entire year, Taffi successfully secured her first $2 million seed funding.
“It was the first increase. And then we entered the KAUST acceleration program, which also offered us grants. And then B2B sales was another source of funding for us,” added Geoffrey.
Taffi has managed to get over $80,000 in revenue, with over 80 stylists using the platform since launching its test phase.
“So we’re just testing and building the product. We didn’t really launch in the market, I mean like an official launch, we only liked a soft launch,” Geoffrey told Arab News.