Material Exchange, the Swedish online platform for the procurement of materials, raised €5 million in a funding round as it seeks to accelerate its growth plans after the “business exploded” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of the industry by at least five years,” said Darren Glenister, the chief executive of Material Exchange. “We can’t afford to lose momentum, so have accelerated our fundraising plans in order to seize the opportunity and scale rapidly.”
The fundraising round was led by Norwegian venture capital and private equity firm Norrsken VC and French tech and digital investor Partech. Other new investors taking part in the financing round included Day One and Lyra Ventures, which invests in fashion and retail technology opportunities. Finland-based Inventure, a technology fund backing early-stage entrepreneurs that led Material Exchange’s first, $2 million financing round in November 2019, also participated in the new fundraising.
Material Exchange aims to increase transparency and improve communication between brands, material suppliers and manufacturers while offering a more sustainable business model, reducing the need for physical samples and material waste by streamlining supply chain processes.
The platform is now working with nearly 400 suppliers and about 50 footwear and apparel groups, including names like VF Corp., Wolverine Worldwide, Deckers Brands, Keen or Global Brands Group. During the pandemic, it has also taken on a new role helping to run and manage digital trade fairs.