Every month, Fashion Technology Accelerator goes deep into the startup world to find up-and-coming interesting fashion tech players: we discover and bring to you the most innovative startups on the field. For this month, we’ve selected Nektria. Our team will present the highlights, the best practices and peculiarities of selected companies, to spark and inspire the debate. Enjoy the reading, then!
In e-commerce, there is no centralized solution that enables you to choose when to receive a specific package, creating frustration and disappointment if the courier leaves the note on your door when you just missed him for a few minutes.
Has it ever happened to you? Which was your first reaction?
To avoid these situations, Nektria has created a platform called RecShipping allowing shoppers to choose the exact time slot they want to receive an order. Shoppers can choose the date and time, deciding whether they want to pay a standard delivery price for a specific time slot and date, or a cheaper price for incentivized slots. The system optimizes delivery routes taking into account the logistic cost per order.
The idea started when David Costa, one of the co-founders, was in the middle of Plaça Cataluña, the most important square in Barcelona, and observed that the traffic was really horrible, leading to major inconveniences due to a lack of optimization. He decided to put together a multidisciplinary team to try to find a solution to this issue while promoting an important concept: to create a service/system which could be designed ‘on demand’.
Interestingly enough, the team was initially focused on creating new mobility models for big cities, targeting the general ineffiency in logistics. However, the real evolution came with the pivot that transformed the company into the ultimate swiss knife for the infamous last mile in e-commerce.
Developing the platform was no easy feat, considering the inherent difficulties in putting together different technological systems in a dynamic environment. Their efforts were rewarded by the first clients, since grocery retailers and online supermarkets were stunned by the precision and accuracy of the solution.
The go-to-market plan was (and still is) simple, since they started with a pilot with online supermarkets while their solution could be easily applied also in other industries, including fashion. After all, who would dislike the idea to pick the time to receive a product ordered online? The target is to become a standard in e-delivery, an objective that does not seem so out of reach given that existing clients benefit from a relevant saving in logistics costs (up to 20%) and improvement in online conversion rates (up to 10%).
The company has also been successful in raising funds, having gathered more than 2.8M € in private funding, including a single 2M € round led by Expon Capital. 125K € were also raised in public funding, highlighting the capability of the company to receive money from different sources to reach their goals.
We visualize that in the near future there will be an incredible adoption of this new standard: as a consumer, having the ability to choose when to receive your online purchases before checkout will be “business as usual”. It will just be a matter of price: cheaper if your choice fits in the route; more expensive if it doesn’t. – Javier Juncadella, CEO
Nektria knows that the target market is gigantic. This is why they started with a single vertical, helping the overall positioning of the company and the focus on a tailored solution on a complex market such as groceries’ online sales.
To support the theory, various researches show that between 21% and 60% of shoppers abandon carts because they don’t know precisely when they are going to receive their purchases. Therefore, Nektria can assist online companies in increasing conversion numbers with a platform adding value to both sellers and customers, who perceive a higher quality in the service received.
No one else is offering a demand-management (real-time priced delivery time slots) as well as supply management platform (carrier route optimization) all in one, end-to-end, fully available in an open, cloud-based SaaS platform. – Oriol Serra, CMO
Their value proposition has been recognized internationally, since they won various awards such as the Europe’s most innovative SaaS E-commerce solution 2016 by EGI SL, and the best startup of Catalunya in 2016 with the best solution for internationalization.
Major online supermarkets, awards, more than 400K orders placed through their solution and a breakthrough technology. What’s next?
After the series A investment, we’re laying the foundations to launch the company to the next level. This means 3 things:
1) Consolidate as a standard for all online grocery retailers
2) Expand our solution to other e-commerce verticals beyond online groceries
3) Become the world’s leading Operating System to deliver a true Digital Logistics. – Steven Rentenaar, Sales Director
We are witnessing an incredible change in our purchasing habits, constantly shifting from device to device and focusing more and more on omnichannel. The online customer has become extremely sophisticated, expecting an impressive customer experience combined with fair prices and great quality products. Some years ago, a solution such as Nektria’s would have been impossible given the lack of interest and appropriate resources for the technical implementations.
Now, the time is right for an ambitious Spanish company tackling a real, sensitive issue for most online customers.
Who will lead and who will follow, among major fashion brands and retailers?