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Material Exchange, a Swedish fashion tech startup with expansion plans in UK grabs £4.4M funding

Material Exchange
Image credits: Material Exchange

Technological advancements have been disrupting the retail industry for some time now. Even the most arduous tasks like understanding customer’s ever-changing demands and adapting to the market trends are taking a positive turn due to the implementation of tech in fashion retail

Raised £4.4 million

Based out of Stockholm, Material Exchange allows designers, materials teams, product developers, and material vendors to search, source, and collaborate. Recently, the digital material management company secured a €5 million (approx £4.4 million) funding round to accelerate its growth plans.

The round was led by Norrsken VC (Europe’s largest impact tech fund) and Partech. Other investors including Day One, Lyra Ventures, Inventure also participated. 

“Our business exploded overnight as the fashion industry realized that with global travel halted, textile fairs canceled and employees forced to work remotely; – fashion brands, suppliers and manufacturers had a pressing need for a solution to source materials and manage relationships with suppliers in a completely digital environment.” Darren Glenister, CEO of Material Exchange.

Works with 400 suppliers

With operations in the UK, Material Exchange works with almost 400 suppliers and 50 brands globally including names like Caleres (Dr Scholl, Vince), Bestseller Group (Selected Homme, Jack Jones), Deckers Brands (Uggs, Teva), Global Brands Group (Calvin Klein Shoes), Keen, Camuto Group and Ariat.

Driving the sustainable digital transformation

The Swedish company works directly with the world’s leading retail apparel and footwear brands to analyse, optimise, and digitise their material sourcing and development processes.

The company is driving the sustainable digital transformation of the industry by creating transparency and improving communication between brands, material suppliers, and manufacturers. 

By streamlining supply chain processes, the company helps reduce the need for physical samples, material wastage, and therefore supports a more sustainable future.

The company was started by a team of highly experienced entrepreneurs who have one exit under their belts – Plugin76, a fashion software company that was sold to PTC Inc,

“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of the industry by at least 5 years, we can’t afford to lose momentum, so have accelerated our fundraising plans to seize the opportunity and scale rapidly.” Darren Glenister, CEO Material Exchange

 “Fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. We need a radical change across the value chain to make fashion more sustainable. We are excited to back Material Exchange because they are redefining the fashion industry by driving transparency and eliminating waste.” Agate Freimane, General Partner Norrsken VC

 “B2B supply chains are being re-invented as a result of this crisis and Material Exchange is positioned to be the Platform of choice where Fashion Brands find and meet their Suppliers, where all Master Data reside and where commercial transactions happen, in a fully digital environment integrated to critical business systems on both sides. We are thrilled to partner with Material Exchange and help them unlock the incredible potential for their clients, not only economically but also for the common good!” / Romain Lavault, General Partner Partech