Forget about online shopping with 20 browser tabs open due to the hassle of having to track numerous websites and brands. The Israel based startup Shopetti wants to disrupt woman shopping and make it as easy as possible, creating an in browser single experience for their users. Just grab the items you like from the main online stores and save them in your Shopetty cart. Then the items you’ve been saving will be ready for you to compare with others, share with your friends or just go and buy them.
We interviewed Shefa Weinstein (@ShefaWeinstein), Shopetti CEO and co-founder.
Question. You have started up several companies before Shopetti, what remarkable failures and successes did you have as an entrepreneur?
Answer. About 10 years ago I was building my first house and I had no idea what I was doing. We had a project manager but were building in a new country and that meant different building practices. My husband and I learned everything we could and then decided to start a magazine/blog on building in Israel for Expats. We got a lot of great articles but the market was too small and the income wasn’t coming in as we hoped. Deciding to stop working on it was difficult for us. Especially with all the personal notes we got from other couples building, encouraging us. I learned that even if it is a good idea, if the business plan isn’t there to back it up you need to see that.
My favorite success was actually not so long ago. I recently was part of two pitching competitions. I won audience choice for both. It is such a thrill to get up in front of a room of peers and colleagues and just put your heart on the table and hope they like it. But coming home with a big cardboard check and having my kids go nuts when they saw it, was really fun. We celebrated my win as a family. That was a moment I will always cherish.
Q. How does Shopetti make my online shopping easier? Why as an Amazon or Zappos buyer should I install Shopetti Chrome extension?
A. There are hundreds of great apps for buying an item right now. But, what if you aren’t ready to make the decision? What if you can’t choose, or you are waiting to see if it goes on sale, or you are comparing items from different stores? Shopetti is your partner in making wiser spending decisions. With Shopetti you build personalized shopping carts so you control when to purchase and where to buy it all from.
Q. At which stage is Shopetti beta at the moment? What’s next?
A. We just released the latest version a few weeks ago. We are really close to coming out of Beta which is fun. There are still a few small kinks but users are really loving shopping with Shopetti. Next we start adding more stores and make it even easier to shop anywhere!
Q. Shopetti seems to be more a productivity tool for online shopping rather than a social shopping application, would you agree with this? How core is the social element for Shopetti?
A. Shopping is inherently social. When I was young, I would go to the mall with friends. It was an activity. I still use my friends’ help while shopping online. Sharing items with them via Shopetti now makes that even easier. And making shopping easier for our users is our main goal. We marry productivity with a social activity!
Q. Shopetti entered Microsoft Accelerator in Israel, did you obtain VC funding as a result? How have you funded the business so far?
A. We were (and might still be) the youngest company to be accepted to Microsoft Ventures in Israel. During the interview, I got up with a power point presentation and a smile. They backed us when no one else would. We loved our time during the accelerator and we were lucky to find our first investor while we were part of the program.
Q. Israel’s start-up ecosystem is meant to be one of the most developed worldwide, what are your thoughts on this?
A. It is amazing! There is something for everyone here. And one of the most remarkable things about the community is how helpful everyone is. Competing companies will sit for coffee, chat and help each other out. I know I can knock on almost any door with the help of my contacts and ask for advice. There is no place like it!
Q. How is it like being CEO and mum of 4 children? How is a typical day in your life like?
A. I don’t think there is a typical day. I rely heavily on the help of my husband who is our children’s primary caregiver. Mornings are my time with the kids each day. I help make lunches and pack their bags. We talk about how their week is going over breakfast. Once they walk out the door, I rush to work and work long hours. Most of the day is working with people, meetings or doing more research, QA and power points. I make an effort to make it home for dinner a few times a week. But the weekends belong to my kids. They know that my phone is off and they have my undivided attention for one full day. We play games and hang out and eat big meals.