Retraced, a sustainable supply chain management platform for fashion, has been successful in generating €1 million in seed funding from European VC firm Samaipata. The funds will be used to add new features to the platform, and help expansion in a sector, which is now focused on sustainability, transparency, and impact management through digitalisation.
The new investment round follows a successful pre-seed round from 12 months ago, which included business angels and the local Düsseldorf NRW Bank. The newly acquired capital will enable Retraced to further capitalise on its growth and add innovative new features. Since the pandemic hit the industry earlier this year, retraced has managed to onboard 40 new brands to the platform in the EU and the US underlying a strong interest in supply chain digitalisation for improved transparency and sustainability management. Thereby, retraced has helped more fashion brands and manufacturers better manage their supply chains and achieve their sustainable development goals.
“Our clients have clear sustainability targets in mind that they want to achieve. Together with them we have defined the necessary information that they need to manage their sustainability efforts and to evaluate their progress,” says Philipp Mayer, co-founder and CPO of retraced. “We’ve benefited from their input, and continue to improve our efficient tracing and document management tools, supplier sustainability assessments, end consumer communication widget and other core functions to help them get the actionable overviews they need to get the most out of their investment in sustainability. We are here to accelerate and guide their sustainability efforts.”
The funding comes at a critical time, as the industry continues to look for new solutions for addressing challenges, such as the traceability of fabrics, government regulations mandating the social welfare of workers in the supply chain, and the environmental impact of textile manufacturing processes.
The investment deal also signals an important opportunity for fashion during a time where the fallout from the pandemic affects the stability and health of supply chains. The values of transparency, compliance, and social responsibility are becoming more important for helping the industry recover and succeed. Retraced focuses on partnering with clients to aid them through the challenges of organising and managing their impact and CSR efforts efficiently through one single platform.
“Covid 19 represents a huge challenge, but at the same time a unique opportunity for fashion to refocus and rebuild,” says Lukas Pünder, co-founder and CEO of retraced. “We are building a platform that will help brands produce better, manage their responsibilities to all of their stakeholders, and stay ready for what’s to come. We are excited about the timing, and the opportunity to partner with Samaipata on our journey. Their expertise in strengthening digital platforms will help us get closer to our vision. We look forward to making 2021 the year of action and change, the fashion industry desperately needs.”
For Samaipata, early-stage pan-European VC investing in digital platforms and marketplaces at seed stage in Germany, the UK, France, and Southern Europe, investing in Retraced is in line with a strong market trend - supply chain transparency and sustainability becoming a core issue for leading companies at global scale.
“We truly believe we are entering a new era of enterprise transparency towards the end-consumer, given the growing regulatory pressure on compliance management, and the reputational cost of not facing increasing demands from new consumers,” says José del Barrio, founding partner at Samaipata. “90 per cent of Generation Z affirms that companies are responsible for dealing with social and environmental issues, and we believe there’s an amazing opportunity for a platform play in the space, leveraging on network effects between brands and other stakeholders sharing data and best practices and willing to work together for a fairer supply chain management.”
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)