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Fluid Edge Themes

About Comb

Moeez and Liam first met at Loughborough University in 2008, where they both lived in the same hall. After graduating, Liam set up his own social media agency in the UK and Moeez moved to NYC to work at a startup. In December 2014, Liam called Moeez with a very vague idea for a business; he had spotted a trend of people buying more and more through social media and via recommendations. However, e-commerce was unpersonalised and each user had the same experience despite having potentially completely different tastes and style, so the idea was that there could be somewhere online you could visit that would be tailored to you. Somehow after three months (still unknown to this day), he convinced Moeez to quit his job in NYC and move back to Loughborough (yes, from NYC to…Loughborough) to pursue the idea of changing e-commerce.

With no money, apart from their minimal savings (who has any savings at 23 though?!) they started to form the basis for what is now Comb. In order to save money, they convinced a local landlord to give them his cheapest house and office space, in exchange for some free social media consulting. The house could have been a crack den (what do you expect for £50/week) and the office was two desks in an empty shipping container with no running water, no bathroom and no heating. Fast forward six months, and Comb had become a working app. Because of having no funding, they struck a deal with app developers in Crimea (who were being taken over by Russia at the time) – the developers desperately needed the business and Comb needed a prototype, so they gave them a handsome discount in exchange for the promise of working with them through to launch.

Eventually, Moeez and Liam made the move to London in December 2015. Still with very little money, they had to embrace the meaning of bootstrapping. Through a friend of a friend, a gym owner in East London allowed Liam to live in the physio’s room after hours – he had to be out before the gym opened in the morning and back after the gym shut. Moeez was slightly luckier, having various couches of friends to crash on. They found a great deal at a co-working space and charity called Bathtub 2 Boardroom, where they finally had a proper office. Within three months, Moeez and Liam were able to raise a small round of £50,000 and finally privately launch Comb. Six months on from there, they had raised a further £75,000 and were able to grow the team and launch new features. Seven months after that, they secured their biggest round of funding at £450,000 (after more than six months of negotiating).
By keeping the team small but efficient, and going over every single penny that was spent, they were able to grow Comb to over 60,000 users in just over a year, launch a new version of the app and build the COMB it button, edging closer to the initial aim of creating a personalised shopping experience based on your style and taste.

Liam Doolan

Founder

  • Born and raised in Northampton (but claims to be Irish)
  • Studied Product Design at Loughborough University
  • Upon graduating, he set up his own social media management agency, looking after social media for over 30 businesses nationwide
  • Self-taught app designer
  • Responsible for all design, tech and marketing at Comb

I love to create amazing products and experiences using great design.

Moeez Ali

Founder

  • Born in the US, spent 8 years in Saudi Arabia, 10 years in Bahrain, 4 years in the UK and a little over a year in NYC…but Pakistani originally…hence the unidentifiable accent
  • Studied Sports Engineering & Design at Loughborough University
  • Upon graduating, he worked in various jobs such as the London Olympics, Formula 1 in Bahrain and a Business Analyst at a startup in NYC
  • Self-taught photographer catering to the blogging masses
  • Responsible for all finances, community management and marketing at Comb