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August 11, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 3:01pm

Seven sexy startups from Croydon

As we look at whether Croydon could surpass Shoreditch as London’s premier tech city, CBR examines seven of its most interesting tech firms.

By Joe Curtis

Smart Dresser

Smart Dresser

This is the app for people who simply hate the act of shopping – the bags, the walking, the crowds, and especially the trying on of clothes. Smart Dresser saves you the pain of actually trawling around shopping malls by letting you enter its virtual changing room to try stuff on.

The iPhone and iPad app allows you to upload a picture of yourself, then drag and drop clothes from various websites onto the image, letting you see how you look in a certain top or all sorts of combinations.

The programme has been downloaded thousands of times a month since it premiered on the App store in December 2011.

WATM

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This is another crowdfunding site, but this one is about getting small businesses off the ground rather than helping causes.

The 30-day campaigns are only funded if they reach their targets, at which point they get in touch with funders about their reward for investing. WATM has stepped in where banks have failed, providing a cash source for SMBs amid a cautious lending environment in order to help them grow and take on new staff.

It retains 5% of the funds raised from successful campaigns, plus transaction charges, a competitive rate with other crowdsourcing platforms, and hopes to improve the state of high streets all over the UK with campaigns to help struggling business find their feet and more successful ones continue to expand.

Couch

This digital marketing agency moved from Shoreditch to Croydon to take advantage of the cheap rents and transport links, and provides content marketing, demand generation, and more to any kind of business.

The team of copywriters, designers and web developers offer marketing services while Couch also educates the existing marketing team about going digital, as well as implementing social media strategies to support long-term plans.

Feast Express

Just like Smart Dresser, this wonderfully convenient app is for people too lazy to even try and find a takeaway menu from under the sofa before they order in of an evening.

The "next generation" of mobile ordering from restaurants and takeaways lets customers order and pay for their food from the comfort of their living room, then track it from the restaurant to their doorstep.

The founding team, Hursh Donde, business manager of Infosys Technologies, and his partner Matthew Gomes, has a combined experience of nearly 50 years working in blue-chip technology firms, and the website is expected to launch soon.

Famberry

Want to stay in touch with far-flung relatives but don’t want to share everything on Facebook?

That’s where Famberry steps in. The startup provides tailored and private social networks for families to interact and keep up to date with each other, without reluctant relations being forced to join Facebook to do so, and without having to share everything you might have on Facebook with your gran.

Key information is encrypted and Famberry says it prevents search engines from accessing personal data, plus people can document their family history and create their own family tree.

Help My Cause

Help My Cause is a Kickstarter-esque platform which allows various people to raise money for ideas and schemes that will improve the place we live in.

Charities, NGOs, entrepreneurs, communities and young people can all use the smartphone and tablet app to raise funds and manage their account on the move.

Creator Jude Joseph started his initiative inspired to make the world a better place, from the ground up, and Help My Cause does that by creating a network of fundraisers who invite their friends to donate, who might in turn decide to donate to another cause or pay towards another idea.

Illustrato.rs

This one is courtesy of The Illustration Gallery, an exhibitors based in Beckenham, and puts an art marketplace at your fingertips, enabling you to browse and buy works straight from contemporary illustrators.

Artists featured on the website include Tom Gauld and each illustrator is curated to ensure all work for sale meets the highest standard.

The works range from paintings to greeting cards and with regular blog posts and artist interviews there’s plenty to keep you coming back for more.

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