Filipino – Founded Startups: Style Genie PH & GVER


Established Since: 2016

 Founders: Abbie Victorino, Minrie Macapugay and Rione Palacios

Due to its unrivaled practicality, online shopping is quickly surpassing the need for its traditional counterpart. When it comes to buying fashion, e-commerce is one thing. However, platforms that provide you with specialized styling from the comfort of your own home is a whole other ballgame.

With FashionTech company StyleGenie, customers are sent an expertly curated collection of clothes that caters to their style preferences. From this, people can try before they buy. The StyleGenie team expresses: “Our mission is to grant style wishes and boost our customer’s confidence through smart and sustainable fashion choices.” How it all works: after signing up on their website and creating a Style Profile, you get to choose a Style Box that has been curated just for you. StyleGenie then delivers the clothes to your doorstep – from the collection, you get to keep and buy what you like, and they’ll pick up the rest.

StyleGenie was co-founded by CEO Abbie Victorino, Minrie Macapugay (Chief Tech Officer), and Rione Palacios (Chief Curation Officer). Branding expert Rione is a skilled retail executive with strengths in brand management, marketing communications, and fashion styling, while all-round tech expert Minrie is an IT consultant, front end JavaScript developer, and product development head. Together with Abbie, an experienced leader with a proven track record in international fashion buying and e-commerce solutions, the StyleGenie team endeavors to innovate the online shopping experience: “Through Style Genie and its services, we do not only sell clothes, but instead offer styling solutions so people can discover their true personal style, become conscious shoppers, and actively support the sustainable fashion movement. On the other hand, our platform offers our partner brands, especially the local ones, a way to sell their products with the use of data-driven technologies and personalized style-matching.”

Established in 2016, StyleGenie now has an active client-base of over 30,000 users and 2500 paying customers. Initially starting in the Philippines, the business seeks to expand to Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur later this year. As a company, they have even bagged a couple of awards along the way – StyleGenie received the title of best e-commerce startup from the Philippines at the 2018 ASEAN RiceBowl Startup Awards and was chosen as one of the top 32 Asian startups at the 2019 Jumpstarter startup competition in Hong Kong.

Seizing every opportunity for growth, this business has been a part of many startup programs. StyleGenie was incubated by the Ideaspace Foundation in 2017, and then the Asian Institute of Management in 2018. It was also accelerated by the 2018 UNCTAD (United Nations Conference of Trade and Development) x Alibaba E-Founder Fellowship Program, as well as the 2019 Simona Accelerator for APAC Women Founders (a collaboration between Digitaraya – a startup accelerator in Jakarta – and Google for startups in Indonesia). Through all these endeavors, Abbie has huge aspirations for StyleGenie: “My vision is to become the first female-founded style tech unicorn from the Philippines.”



Established Since: 2017

Founders: Lalaine & Mon Benitez

As climate change and the world’s waste problems come to the fore, businesses that provide sustainable solutions lessening people’s environmental impact become more and more important.  Enter Gver – Your Friendly Marketplace for Sharing.  Founded in 2017 Gver presents a novel mode of consumption built on top of sharing.  With the brand pitch – “get stuff for free, just pay for delivery and give away what you don’t need,” the startup differentiates itself from other marketplaces in that the business model is give and take, not buy, sell or trade.

Founder Lalaine Chu-Benitez shares, “Billions worth of useful goods end up in landfills around the world, while billions more are lying in our closets at home. But while so many of us have too much stuff, more and more are finding it harder to afford things.   By facilitating sharing and removing the pains of the secondhand markets – no selling/negotiating, no meetups and no having to arrange for transport, we give people amazingly cheap, easy and safe access to goods.”

The platform has currently over 4,000 members and has facilitated the give-away of thousands of items ranging from clothes to books, household items, even entire furniture sets.  2018 marks a new milestone as the brand started collaborating on CSR initiatives with companies to give away old furniture, equipment, and materials. Recent corporate partnership projects include the redistribution of over 150 pcs of second-hand hotel furniture worth an estimated AED25,000 from Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels to the community, and the release of thousands of ceramicware to benefit restaurants across the city.  Such exercises prove that sharing is a win-win situation for both the companies where storage and disposal of old materials are both time-consuming and costly and for the receiving parties that are able to acquire useful goods conveniently delivered to their doorstep at the most minimal costs.

Lalaine adds, “In the future, we see Gver side by side the world’s largest marketplaces, not only because it is a great idea whose time has come, but because the world needs this.  We as humans need this type of business to succeed.”


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