Material Exchange expands business operations in Asia Pacific to deepen relationships with material suppliers in order to meet the growing demands from consumers for ethical fashion.
SWEDEN – November 19, 2019 — Material Exchange Ventures AB, a Stockholm based startup and provider of the Material Exchange, a SaaS-based digital platform that enables footwear and apparel brands to create, develop and source materials in a more sustainable way, is proud to announce a $2M seed investment round led by Inventure.
The new investment round will enable Material Exchange to further capitalize on the growing demand for global brands, to digitally transform their supply chains, increase transparency, lower costs and speed up product development. The investment will be used to open a sales and technical support hub in mainland China, which will enable Material Exchange to strategically integrate new material suppliers into the platform and further expand its reach into Asia.
“This new investment will enable us to scale the Material Exchange platform globally and deliver greater value for brands, material suppliers and manufacturers,” said Darren Glenister, CEO Material Exchange Ventures AB. “We are thrilled to be expanding into Asian markets to further strengthen relationships with suppliers, which will in turn give brand designers, material teams and product developers access to the most comprehensive digital material library available anywhere in the world – creating a sustainable speed-to-market supply chain for their products”.
This latest round of investment comes at an exciting time for the Material Exchange. Over the last 12 months, more than 100 material suppliers (including Tata and AMG) have signed up to the SaaS-based platform and are able to instantly share their materials with brands from across the globe. In addition, more than 50 brands such as Jack Jones, Vero Mode, Selected Homme, Harley Davidson Shoes, Steve Madden, Uggs, Feiyue, Champion, Dr Scholls, Okabashi, Steel Blue and Saucony, have joined the platform and will benefit from being able to find on-trend materials in seconds, rather than having to shift through multiple physical and outdated swatch books.
The latest and one of the most exciting additions to the Material Exchange is Camuto Group, whose brands include Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch and Saks Fifth Avenue. “This a fantastic addition to the platform, to bring onboard a brand like Camuto Group shows Material Exchange is really gaining momentum, and making brands sit up and take notice. This will allow Camuto Group to digitally transform their supply chain and completely reduce their need for physical material samples,” said Andy Polk, Senior Vice President at FDRA. “The new investment will enable Material Exchange to expand their global reach to help even more suppliers and brands speed up development, and increase supply chain transparency and sustainability. Material Exchange is a critical platform right now for our members for these very reasons. Having a Material Exchange team in Asia now means suppliers can better connect with brands and understand their needs. They can also instantly share materials across the globe and focus on increasing their capacity and quality all through this dynamic online platform”, Added Andy.
Furthermore, Material Exchange is soon to launch a brand-new digital user profile that enables brands to view material suppliers in a more transparent and standardized way. The digital profile is embedded into the core Material Exchange platform and will give brands the ability to view production capabilities, accreditations, and sustainability practices of specific material suppliers, before choosing to work with them for the design and product development projects.
Recently, Material Exchange was selected as a finalist out of a total of 2000+ applicants, in one of China’s leading competitions for the fashion and textile industry; The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition for Overseas Talents 2019, held in Hangzhou. The competition focuses on market, innovation, growth, founder’s characteristics and industrialisation prospects.
About Material Exchange
Material Exchange (ME) was founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 2016. The company is the brainchild of Darren Glenister, a digital transformation expert and pioneer in digitalization and supply chain innovation. ME is the key to everyone’s digital development evolution. Built hand-in-hand with the world’s leading brands and suppliers, the ME transforms an antiquated material selection process to decrease costs, whilst increasing speed and innovation.
Inventure is a Nordic technology fund backing early-stage entrepreneurs. Having our roots in Finland, Inventure enjoys domains many don’t feel comfortable with, and make big bets on deep tech and scalable technologies. The strong capital base allows them to lead investments starting from initial seed-stage all the way through expansion.
Read more: www.inventure.fi
Footwear Distributers and Retailers of America (FDRA) was founded in 1944 and focuses on the footwear industry supply chain. It assists its members through innovative products, training and consulting on footwear design and development, sourcing and compliance, trade and customs, and global sales trends. The FDRA is inclusive of all types of businesses, its members range from small family owned businesses to multi-national companies. FDRA supports almost 500 companies worldwide including a combination of brands, manufacturers, retailers and importers.