A Q&A with Gush founder and CEO Julian Frachtman. The Austin, Texas–based company, which is being incubated through Jutera Labs, was founded last year and launched its app to the public last week.
SUB: Please describe Gush and your value proposition.
Frachtman: Gush is a shopping and price comparison app for iPad, Android and Kindle. Users are able to browse all of their favorite brands, find great deals and coupons, and compare prices across our 300-plus partners, including eBay and Amazon.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Frachtman: Due to the mix of features Gush incorporates, we’re a great tool for both window shoppers who want to browse through current deals and offers, as well as price conscious shoppers who want to know that beyond a doubt, they’re getting the best price available for a product.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Frachtman: Buyou, Catalog by Shopify, Flit Shopping and Catalog Spree to name a few. What all of these have in common is they’re working to provide value to users by giving them a curated shopping experience with respect to stores, brands, and products, and we’re playing in the same space.
SUB: What differentiates Gush from the competition?
Frachtman: Existing shopping apps don’t provide the same length and breadth of features and value that we’ve been able to bake into Gush. While some have done a good job of building out serendipitous product discovery, coupon delivery, or price comparison, Gush brings all three together in what we hope is a very intuitive experience.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Frachtman: We began working on Gush in November of 2012. After initial ideation, the first step was to look at who had available bandwidth within Jutera Labs, and pull them onto the team. The ability to incubate Gush internally, and to draw on the talent pool at Jutera Labs was crucial in the early stages of the process, and certainly helped to give us a leg up with regards to bringing together a really talented group of people to collaborate on Gush.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Gush? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Frachtman: Gush came about after looking at a number of tablet shopping applications that were currently available, and realizing that based on previous experience and relationships in affiliate shopping, we were in a good position to enter the space. With that in mind, we began putting together a wish list of features, and building it out from there.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Frachtman: We wanted a name that would be as memorable to the users as the experience on the app. Gush is playful, and has been a fun name to build our branding around.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Frachtman: As a company being incubated within Jutera Labs, we’re essentially bootstrapped, which has been great in terms of having a strong team to work with from the outset, but it also means taking a bit more of an organic and hands-on approach to acquiring users. This has been valuable, however, as it forces us to very early on determine the lifetime value of a user.
SUB: You just had your official launch. Why was this a particularly good time to launch?
Frachtman: The way we looked at it, the sooner the better. We’re coming into mobile commerce at a time where it’s on the rise, and it’s still a young enough app ecosystem that no dominant player has emerged. There’s not much more you can ask for than that, now we just have to take advantage of the opportunity.
SUB: Have you raised outside funding to this point? If so, how much have you raised?
Frachtman: No, Gush was conceptualized and built out within Jutera Labs, our Austin and Bangalore based product incubator, which has also launched our other properties—DeedorGreed.com, a cashback and coupon site, Mommy.com, a content hub for moms, and Perk.com, a loyalty and rewards browser.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Frachtman: We currently get paid when we refer our users onto products they end up purchasing through affiliate relationships we have with all of our merchant partners. We do have plans to expand our monetization channels once we roll out our destination shopping site on Gush.com in the coming quarter.
SUB: What are your goals for Gush over the next year or so?
Frachtman: We have plans to launch a destination shopping experience on Gush.com, to launch an iPhone app, and to continue to build out and add features to our current apps. Along with building out all of this, to provide more value to our current users, we’re hoping to continue to grow our user base so we can help even more people shop smarter on tablets.
Gush – www.gush.com