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Wardrogue seeks to solve these problems by connecting shoppers with items in stores in real time.

Briefly explain your business/business concept and the problem it aims to solve:

The Trends: In 2015 in the US alone e-commerce drove $325Bn in sales. In contrast web driven offline sales was $1.4Tn (Forrester). The clear consumer trend is to search for something online with an intent to purchase offline.

The problems: The absence of omni-channel retail solutions that can solve the Discover Online – Purchase Offline consumer journey so that they can:

  1. Discover something they like online
  2. Figure out which brand it belongs to
  3. Try and find a store near them
  4. Figure out if what they like is available

Existing platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Vogue are great for fashion discovery but unable to provide a context of personal choice, proximity and availability. Wardrogue seeks to solve these problems by connecting shoppers with items in stores in real time.

How did you come up with this idea?

The initial idea was to become a platform that would help users discover a fashion sale near them. While developing the idea further we realised that the platform had the ability to add on a lot more content that could build on the existing online to offline tech capabilities and increase the value of the platform multi-fold. When we tested our hypothesis with brands we found that they were more than willing to participate.

What stage is your business currently at, and what are your plans moving forward?

Wardrogue India is currently at a Live MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage with 18 brands like Salvatore Feragamo, FCUK, Porsche Design partnered with Wardrogue. We are looking at running a focused user campaign for two cities with 100,000 users to test the product by the first week of September. Our target is to launch Wardrgoue London as the frontrunner product and use the milestones from the India story so far as a reference to VCs (Venture Capitalists) and Partner Brands.

What do you feel are your three biggest successes with your business so far?

  1. A fantastic co-founding team that has a mix of experienced entrepreneurial and corporate experience of over 60 years combined in luxury, media and media-tech
  2. Getting 18 brands signed up with the Wardrogue MVP which has a mix of global leaders and independent designers
  3. Receiving an in-principle offer from a global fashion brand to run a paid campaign on the platform

How was being a student at City helped you to develop your idea?

One of the advantages of being at City was the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world and test the business concept with respect to their own markets. It gave our team the confidence that Wardrogue has the ability to become a global product. Interaction with students also allowed us to pick up insights into the subtle modifications that the product would need for each major market.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurial students at City?

If you have a great idea it would be good to use the eco-system at City to look around and connect with potential co-founders or team members and perhaps discover new markets that you hadn't thought about earlier. Wardrogue was initially intended to be an India-based product. However with help from my MBA cohort we have been able make great inroads into London which is a leading fashion market and have pivoted the backend to launch in London.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.