Company stories

Reverse Supply

Interview with
Janis Kunkler

Take us back to your Eureka moment. How did you guys come up with Reverse Supply?

Given our background in the fashion industry, we knew that there was ground to win on topics such as supply chain management, sustainability and circularity. Every brand is looking to embrace sustainability one way or another, but it’s often quite challenging as the biggest pain points lie within the sourcing of materials, at the start of the supply chain. This distance caused many people to be unaware of the negative impact that (fast)fashion had on the environment. 

We got acquainted with the principles of recommerce and resale soon after that and started to explore how big retailers and brands could benefit from circular sourcing. Platforms such as Vinted, Vestiaire and Ebay were dominating the secondhand clothing market, leaving virtually no room for retailers to own this extra income stream. The eureka moment followed suit: why not build a product that would let fashion brands and retailers own this untapped sales channel?

With reverse.supply, companies can now tap into a new revenue stream without having to create new products, as well as extend the lifetime-value of garments. Reverse supply fully embraces circularity and combats fast fashion. And the best thing is: Recommerce is a nifty tool to increase customer loyalty, as brands have multiple touch-points with their audience. 

What is (or was) your most significant challenge building your marketplace/platform?‍

Our platform is both Ops heavy and tech-heavy, meaning that it could sometimes be quite challenging to neatly align and integrate these two. Since we offer a turn-key solution for both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar, we covered everything from logistics to warehouse management. Dealing with recommerce is far more complex than ‘regular e-commerce’: garments are not similar to one another, article and image data needs to be gathered and pricing can be tricky. Nonetheless, we made it work and we are very happy to say that we’re right on track to become the most trusted partner for brands (big and small!) to take care of their recommerce operations. 

How are you making the world a better place?‍

We strive to give every single item a fair chance for a second life, meaning that we will eventually look beyond the fashion industry. Our platform and infrastructure can easily be tweaked to facilitate the recommerce of other goods. For now, we’ll stick to textile, but venturing into new verticals is definitely something we’d like to further explore. 

How would you describe the DFF way of working?‍

We were big fans of you guys’ operating speed. From the very first meeting to a signed term sheet only took a couple of days, something we had not seen before. It’s really cool that everyone at Dutch Founders Fund both thinks and acts with founders speed. 

It was (and still is!) great to have a sparring partner that quickly understood the challenges that (re)commerce imposed. But perhaps the thing that we enjoyed most in working with you guys was expectation management. Some VCs we talked to set highly unrealistic and insane expectations. It was nice to work with a VC that knew that scaling an early-stage company isn’t always sunshine and lollipops. 

Tell us something you’ve underestimated?‍

How time-consuming fundraising can be! Going on a roadshow requires all of your attention, and translating your entire business into a bite-sized deck is also not the easiest. Fortunately, we managed to welcome many really good investors fairly quick. Do not underestimate the time and effort that fundraising requires though!

On a second note: finding top talent to support us in our growth also proved to be somewhat more challenging than anticipated. There are many really cool companies that just raised funds competing for the same profiles, so make sure that you stand out!

Fast forward to 2032. Where do you see Reverse Supply?

Having built a global recommerce solution that can be applied to virtually every single item that deserves a second chance! 

What don’t you know that you wish you knew?‍

Finding the right focus and prioritising. Trusting and distributing responsibility to people around you is also key, don’t rush that. Only together you can move forward. 

On a last note: any tips for (future) founders?

Speak to your clients to get a full 360 understanding of the market and their pain points. In terms of fundraising: we checked the captable of similar companies (in both stage and vertical) and checked who the angels were that backed those companies. Really helped us get the right investors on board!

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