4meee! (obviously pronounced ‘for me’) is an e-commerce and curated fashion site for young women. Our readers may recall the team was featured at a recent demo day event of Tokyo-based startup incubator Movida Japan. Since its launch back in April, the site has acquired more than 1 million page views mainly from teenage girls and women in their 20s.
The service was launched back by three female co-founders at a startup called Rocket Venture, all of whom are in the same generation with their users. I recently had a chance to talk with the co-founders: CMO Yoshimi Kuwayama, CTO Tomomi Kuwayama, and director Arisa Sakanashi.
What are differentiators?
Yoshimi Kuwayama and Tomomi Kuwayama are twin sisters and have been working on entrusted web developments for their clients since they were attending a university. They co-founded Rocket Venture with CEO Makoto Tatsukawa who had been collaboratively working with the Kuwayama sisters. Prior to joining the team, director Arisa Sakanashi have been working with an e-commerce company for two years after graduating from a university.
As curated content site focused on young women, we’ve seen competitors like ‘Mery‘ or ‘@Girl Times‘ in this space. But Yoshimi Kuwayama told us there’s some uniqueness including their four-panel comic strip style interface:
Our site is full of content generated by young women who are in the same generation with our users. So all articles on our website were written by these trend-conscious women. That’s why their real voices have been coming together here.
Addressing people’s inconvenience
In addition to the content they provide, the app has adopted a particular mechanism in order to retain their users better.
Firstly, the app allows users to post articles as well as read them using mobile. Sakanashi explained:
Young girls these days are surprisingly good at entering characters using smartphones. Unlike other curation content sites expecting users to post articles via desktop, we had to optimize our site for posting on mobile since we target such a demographics.
Moreover, when you find something you want to buy on the website, you can easily reach an e-commerce site through a link in the article. Tomomi Kuwayama explained why this is so important:
Fashion magazines feature many cute items but more than a few of them are less obtainable since they are certainly not yet on sale or stylist belongings. When you find something you want on our website, you can buy it right away.
Pursuing women’s usability
Tomomi Kuwayama explained young women are very sensitive and unlikely to miss any sense of incongruity:
If we look at e-commerce sites, we can find some products which are likely be described by male writers despite the fact that they target female users. I think we can figure out because the words that make women feel good are different from those attracting men.
For example, if you talk about a celebrity woman, male people want to write about her style or appearance while female consumers want to know about her lifestyle or her accessories.
Yoshimi Kuwayama explained that female users are good at sharing ideas once they can find a perspective they can agree with:
Our website has a profile page where every user can introduce herself like her blog. This feature helps us motivate our users to keep posting their articles. Interesting articles are rapidly spreading via Twitter.
Working at startup
Their team is comprising of five full-time workers and three female interns. Some of our readers may recall a recent report that 27.9% of Japanese parents having new graduates will complain if their children choose to be hired by a young startup. So I wondered if they had no hesitate in working at this company which launched as recent as last December. In a response to my question, Sanakashi explained:
We can experience developing from scratch and every employee’s opinion is respected at startup. We can shape up our idea and get feedback in a short time, which suits me very well.
They are planning to introduce a mobile app in the future with the aim of supplanting positions of Yahoo Japan for female smartphone users.