Last night I joined a small group of Finnish bloggers and startups at Fruugo HQ in Helsinki for the first demo session of the service. We were also the first to get invitations to the public beta. Here are my initial thoughts.
What is Fruugo?
Fruugo is a Finnish startup unlike any other. They have started big gotten along investors such as Nokia’s Chairman Jorma Ollila and they aim at revolutionizing e-commerce. They sure have the resources for it. They are located in right of the center of Helsinki, where they employ close to 100 people.
Fruugo is what you get when you combine social shopping, a product finder, price comparison and a slick e-commerce site. They want to combine Europe’s (EU) webshops into kind of a huge mall, where it’s fun to shop or just hang around.
Welcome to the Jungle is just a release name
The first beta release is called welcome to the jungle. They will have new releases in a fast pace, maybe even weekly and they will be named after (bad) songs.
The UI is colorful, but still simple. The service is really easy to use, although at this stage there are quite a lot of errors. Apparently they have a lot of features coming up in the future releases.
A lot of work done and a lot of work still to be done
The biggest task that Fuugo has done is prepare themselves for integration with a huge number of e-commerce platforms. Also they have done their work in trying to combine webshops from around Europe in a way that it doesn’t really matter to the user from which country their goods will be delivered from. Having lots of different size webshops from different countries working on the same platform is by no means a small effort.
At this stage they have webshops mainly from Finland and Sweden, but they are opening up more countries in the near future. From the small selection of products they have on the site it’s hard to tell what will be the biggest benefits of Fruugo will be. But I can see that they are on to something big here.
More screenshots from Fruugo on Flickr.