A platform of three Portuguese entrepreneurs is guaranteeing a few months ago, electronic purchases in ‘traditional’ textile mills in the North, with plans to reach 10 partners and a turnover of 350 thousand euros in 2019.
It all started when Reinaldo Moreira, one of the founding partners and 100% dedicated to the young company, received a pair of socks bought at a confectionery store.
Reinaldo then joined Francisco Pimentel and Miguel Pinto to have the Springkode platform born and show “it is possible to buy clothes in an alternative way by going directly to the source, to the place of confection“, by means of the renovation of the factory store concept.
With its own funding of 100 thousand euros applied in “partner recruitment, platform development and the first steps in communication“, the project was born on April 13 and has three partner factories: Lagofra (Seroa, Porto), TIVA (Abade de Neiva, Barcelos) and TMR (Azurém, Guimarães).
“The reference is for 10 factories to join the project in 2019, but we want to replace it. We work more than this,” told Reinaldo Moreira, stressing the goal of “exploiting to the maximum the reality of Portuguese confection, is rich and has dozens, hundreds of factories working for the best fashion brands in the world. ”
This will be the focus for a year, said the entrepreneur, who also revealed plans to go to Spain and Italy for “first contacts with industry associations and with some factories to evaluate the interest of joining the project.”
Internationalization has thus been in Springkode’s vocabulary, which wants to bring its “business model as a value proposition to the end customer” to “other geographies“.
“This project is born European, I would like it to be born global, but customs issues prevent it from doing so at this stage, we are focusing on our natural market, which we understand to be European,” he explained.
Planned is also the investment of about 1.1 million euros to breakeven (break even) in the ‘startup’, with currently five elements.
With a sales fee, the platform offers the “brand” and “product identity“, ensuring the “provenance and authenticity” of the offer and the quality.
Thus, the target customer is what seeks the “best value for money“.
At the ‘always’ factory platform, but now in a digital model, there are parts developed and produced entirely by the factories and cannot be bought anywhere else, said one of the founders of Springkode.
The inevitable question about whether there was inspiration from the already ‘giant’ Farfetech, the online sales platform for luxury brands created by the Portuguese José Neves, Reinaldo Moreira replied that it is “a model for any Portuguese startup that is starting and wants to internationalize your business “.
“It inspires us every day. We follow the evolution of the company very closely and our business model is, in everything, similar to theirs. However, we want to position ourselves in the supply chain and grow in a different market segment”, he finished.
Already to the other unavoidable question about if there will be balances, the entrepreneur did not discard the hypothesis of promotions but remembered that the platform works with small amounts of product.
“We are making the product available at a very low price compared to what it would be normal to find in the stores” since no margins are added that would make it necessary to dispose of end-of-collection products, he concluded.