Please welcome Down to Shop, a mobile shopping network designed for discovery

Meet Down to Shop, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Los Angeles

Cofounders: Cyrus Summerlin and Max Hellerstein

The problem: Consumers turn to social media as a way to discover new products. But while scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest may be effective, it’s not very dynamic or even all that enjoyable. As Gen Z and younger millennials acquire greater purchasing power, so emerges an opportunity to reach these consumers with a new kind of shopping experience that combines their favorite things on the Internet: discovery, video, and community.

Down to Shop’s solution: Down to Shop aims to do shopping differently. Through entertaining, original skits, shows, and games, users can explore and buy products using their bank accounts or via “Clout” collected from engaging with the app. The mobile shopping network offers a modern reinvention of QVC for young shoppers by meeting them where they spend their time (on their phones) and by offering fun and engaging content that takes them from discovery through purchase.

Origin story: Before creating Down to Shop, Cyrus Summerlin and Max Hellerstein built and launched Push for Pizza, a business that generated media attention and buzz online in part thanks to its creative, viral videos. Through that experience, Max and Cyrus realized the need for a new way to discover and experience products that forgoes traditional methods and advertising for something much more engaging and fun. Max and Cyrus have assembled a team of digital natives, creatives, former comedians from Upright Citizens Brigade, and Instagram personalities to deliver their unique content and voice to Down to Shop users.

Why we’re betting on it: QVC made the transition from linear TV to digital incredibly well, but has struggled to appeal to the younger millennial and Gen Z consumer. Existing advertising and e-commerce solutions were missing the mark, and we saw an opportunity for a new type of shopping network that married mobile video with mobile commerce in a way that uniquely appealed to the next generation. We looked at number of different approaches, but felt Down To Shop had the right combination of product vision, brand authenticity, and fun to build a real movement around a next-gen entertainment shopping network. Max and Cyrus brought the authenticity and creative force we were looking for.

Our take: We see a tremendous opportunity around new commerce models that interact with younger consumers through their phones. One of the crucial elements for success here is the ability to create a sticky community that fosters purchase intent over time and draws the user to return to the app with frequency. Down to Shop pairs funny, serialized content with product discovery in a way that invites users to tune in to their favorite shows and interact with brands regardless of whether they choose to transact during a session. While we’ve seen different permutations of next-gen shopping networks, Down to Shop’s approach was the first to check all the boxes for us. As purchasing power grows with a younger demographic, the most engaging and authentic format will win here and we believe that’s Down to Shop.

Further reading: Down to Shop is a tongue-in-cheek mobile shopping network via TechCrunch

Check out careers at Down to Shop.

Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.

Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.