Phubber, launched in 2019, is a shopping & resale platform in Georgia uniting e-commerce and social media functions in one space. Using AI, the platform connects people who want to buy or sell clothes, accessories, and personal care products. Application is Phubber’s core product with permanent development. Phubber provides quality control, authentication, payment, and free delivery to the users.
The company enters the Armenian market through its online application. iTel.am talked to co-founder and CEO of Phubber Anano Dolaberidze and Georgi Chugoshvili, co-founder and CFO at Phubber about the company’s mission, plans and perspectives of expanding to Armenia.
Anano has more than 12 years of experience in the fashion industry in Georgia, and fashion has always been her passion. She aims to change the mindset in this industry by bringing new shopping culture, promoting circular fashion, and decreasing its negative environmental impact.
“The main driver to start a business in this industry was to change the mindset of people who likes shopping. An authenticated fashion, ethical shopping is in our DNA. On Phubber is not allowed to sell natural fur or fake products. We do a quality check, control the listings and authenticate every single item that is sold on our platform. So our platform brings to our customers more trust, so they know that they don’t get a fake product. Only in Georgia Phubber has around 200 000 registered users”, Anano says.
Phubber expanded in the Ukraine in 2021. According to Anano, they had a great success at the beginning and were working for the grand launch, but then the war changed all their plans and strategy. They started looking for new opportunities in neighboring countries, including Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“We realized that there is a huge opportunity in our region. And also, we want to bring the sustainable fashion mindset into our neighboring countries. We don’t want to start from Europe or the US, because we have not so much budget for that.
For us the Armenian market is really interesting. In Armenia we really feel like home with the culture, people, with everything. We’ll go to the Western European countries as well, but the regional part is the most important step for our business just to be bigger, stronger and join the international fashion community. This is our first business trip in Armenia, we’re talking to many companies, many people to collaborate and also plan some interesting partnerships with different companies here. We plan to launch Phubber at the end of April. So after this we will be very active in the market, offering very interesting projects to our Armenian customers”, Anano added.
Georgi Chugoshvili says they use AI algorithms to meet the users’ needs to suggest personalized item to each user and bring the best user experience to them with fast, cozy and engaging app. They plan to be the main player in this region by permanent development of Phubber app, and it is not an easy task for them.
“Our users compare us with Instagram and other social networks, because of similar features. We also have a personalized feed, personalized pages, where we select specific items with our AI algorithms. We use image recognition to find similar items and suggest them.
Our region is not like the US or Europe, when you can have just the English language and that’s it. So it is a very complicated market, we try to be very local in every country. We will have the local language integrated, local currencies, paying services, etc. Phubber's idea is to be as international as possible for the seller. It means you list the item in Armenia and you can sell it internationally. But very local for the buyer, in terms of payments, delivery, language, etc” says Giorgi. Nune Grigorian