With a phone in everyone's pocket, there still seems to be too much friction when you're trying to get rid of your old bike. So to bring a peer-to-peer marketplace to iPhone, Stockholm-based Osom (think "awesome") has launched a polished app that will get you selling or buying in no time.
Co-founder Anton Johansson tells us that the company got its start after the founders decided to start a company after working for Videoplaza and Twingly. The idea came up as the three founders were sitting down and going through their favorite apps and all realized that Instagram has the best stickiness and "epicness" out of their phones. From there, they started to think about how that interface would respond in the e-commerce environment, and realized it was pretty optimized for a marketplace already.
So, like Instagram, the app allows you to follow people so you can see what your friends or favorite sellers or bloggers are selling. The app also features a feed of the most "Osom'd" items, which works well as a discovery feed. But if none of those strike your fancy, the app also offers a global feed of everything moving through Osom.
The feeds and layouts already hint strongly at Instagram, but perhaps the most obvious comparison is the photo options. Everyone knows filters are much better than the harsh reality of... reality. So Osom provides a few photo options that keep your vintage records or used clothing looking vintage.
With this setup they're going after the fashion, vintage, and "beautiful things" verticals, or basically the hipster market. We've covered some somewhat similar concepts in the past, such as Norway's Fribi, which is more focused on exchanging unused stuff for free. But if Osom gets more legit sellers, like boutiques, onboard, it will add a lot of legitimacy by adding quality fresh content.
Osom has a lot going for it, but I'm curious how their payment process is working out for them. They basically let buyers and sellers figure it out for themselves, which is all good and well, but not as "instant" or profitable as it could be. Regardless, it feels like theres a hole in the market that Osom can fill, and with the critical mass of users they could become an interesting company to watch.
Building that user base will be an uphill battle to climb. But with their focus on design and that hipster niche, they can likely go much farther than the apps before them.
Osom can be downloaded from the App store.