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Trouva outlines international ambitions

Independent retail platform Trouva has outlined ambitions to be a global “anti-Amazon” business, as it passes its second-year anniversary of trading.

It is considering its next steps for expansion in Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, the US and Japan, with mainland Europe as its primary focus in the short term.

Chief executive and co-founder Mandeep Singh told Drapers that the online marketplace aims to become the “global destination for independent retailers”.

He said: “The dream is for Trouva to not only offer the best shops in London, Manchester or Brighton, but Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and further afield. We want to be the global destination for the best independents in every great town and city in the world; that’s what gets us out of bed every morning. We want to unite these retailers.

“We want to create a new way of shopping – it shouldn’t be just about convenience. We almost want to position ourselves as the anti-Amazon, [where we can still offer] the convenience and efficiency of Amazon but provide something you’ll be really proud of owning; products you can’t find in chains.”

Singh said the business is currently deciding whether to raise the capital for expansion or to grow organically.

The business opened a tech hub in Lisbon in August, marking its first steps towards developing its international presence. The platform also plans to invest in its outward-facing consumer branding and consider ways to improve online product discovery.

It has scored funding for a TV advertising campaign after winning a competition run by All Response Media last month. The campaign is expected to air in November.

Singh added that the business aims to further help boutiques with issues that are constraining their growth, such as volume discounts relating to logistics.

The business, which enables local retailers to offer click-and-collect, one-hour delivery and worldwide shipping options for their products, said it has grown its revenue by more than 1,500% since its launch in 2015.

It did not disclose specific figures or an indication on profits.

Trouva now stocks more than 75,000 design-led products from 350 boutiques in more than 119 towns and cities in the UK.

Of these, 11 boutiques have each made over £100,000 in sales through the platform.

The team has grown its headcount by 52% year-on-year. The business employs 38 people, including a 10-strong product team headed up by co-founder and chief technology officer Alex Loizou.

The platform has raised £2.5m in funding to date from investors Octopus Ventures, Playfair Capital, Index Ventures and angel investors including former Jack Wills chief executive Wendy Becky and ex-directors from Vodafone, eBay and Google.

Trouva said its longest product journey to date has been a leather wallet from Brighton-based independent clothing retailer Our Daily Edit that was delivered to Timaru in New Zealand, over an 11,807-mile distance.


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