It’s hard to know how much inventory you really need and with the amount of factors involved it seems like it’s better to be safe than sorry. But what happens after you order way too much? Your solution is to turn to INTURN. Their platform gives you the ability to seamlessly buy and sell excess inventory and get data to help you manage it in the future.
Less than 10 months since their last round, CEO Ronen Lazar tells AlleyWatch about the inception and recent growth of the company and its recent injection of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $9.7 million Series A financing round, bringing INTURN’s total funding to $13.6 million. This round was led by Novel TMT Ventures, founded by Silas Chou’s two sons, Luis and Bruno Chou, and Andrew Fine, and included previous investors: Forerunner Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and T5 Capital. New investors include Benvolio Group, the investment arm of Lew Frankfort, Chairman Emeritus, Coach, and his family; Shuco LLC, an investment arm of Stanley S. Shuman; Khajak Keledjian, Cofounder of Intermix; Bam Ventures, founded by Brian Lee, Cofounder of Honest Company and serial angel investor; and Fabrice Grinda.
Tell us about your product or service.
INTURN is the first online marketplace built to enable brands and retailers to confidentially buy and sell excess inventory on a global scale. It is a win-win solution for both brands and retailers to replace the existing time-consuming and error-prone liquidity process driving the off-price industry. It delivers better economics to both parties by reducing manual work processes, expanding accessible product information, and integrating sophisticated analytics into the retailer-brand negotiation processes. The result is a solution that provides a powerful opportunity to increase profitability and manage inventory.
What inspired you to start the company?
Having spent several years developing innovative solutions to monetize inventory, I recognized a huge lack of innovation and technology in the B2B retail space that was leading to huge inefficiencies and loss of billions of dollars. I wanted to find a solution to this problem, which ultimately lead me to dream up INTURN.
How is it different?
The off-price market has not seen any innovation in the past quarter-century. Buyers and sellers are still using manual and time-consuming processes that hold back their business growth and lead to wasted time, energy, and finances. INTURN is an easy, no integration required solution that brings together, for the first time, buyers and sellers from all over the world and provides them with automated tools to enhance their business networks, intelligence, and visibility. As of now, there is no other product like ours.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
INTURN’s first vertical focus is the $250 Billion off-price apparel and accessories sector that represent over 20% of the $1.2 trillion global retail market. We plan on expanding from there into other consumer goods markets.
What was the funding process like?
This round was very competitive. Many of our previous investors wanted to reinvest, and we have attracted prominent other individuals and firms with deep off-price retail, finance, and technology expertise. We have put together a very strong group of investors and advisors.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
One of the biggest challenges was deciding on the final set of investors. Many variables go into this decision, including valuation and ownership of the company.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The retail industry is becoming more technologically innovative, and the easy-to-use solution INTURN provides to improving inventory liquidity and value recovery is something investors recognized as a huge opportunity.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
The best way I’ve found to manage limited finances is to create a comprehensive road map and budget and then sticking to it. Yes, there will be bumps and slight modifications to this plan, but having strong visibility of where every bit of capital is spent allows for better control and use of the money remaining in the bank.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
INTURN’s growth in 2015 exceeded our expectations, and so with this new influx of capital and strong Advisory board, we are looking for an exponential growth rate for the company.