German etailer Zalando has acquired a 20% stake in UK technology business Anatwine for a seven-figure sum.
Anatwine provides customised software to help online fashion retailers and brands integrate their processes, systems and stock files, with the aim of maximising sales and efficiency.
The company was founded in 2013 by Chris Griffin while he was ecommerce director at SuperGroup, and has offices in both London and Cheltenham. Griffin is chief executive.
Following the deal, current and future brand partners will be able to use Anatwine’s integration technology to sell their merchandise through Zalando.
Anatwine will be Zalando’s preferred provider of integration services, although both will continue to operate independently.
Anatwine’s chairman is former Best Buy chief executive Robert Willett. Ex-Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is a non-executive director. Other non-executives include Bill Currie, who has previously backed Asos.com, The Hut Group, New Look and Metapack. As part of the agreement, Zalando co-founder David Schneider will join Anatwine’s board.
Anatwine has 50 employees, but Griffin said he expects this to double by the end of the year.
“We are currently in discussions, at contract stage or live, with 100 of the top 150 brands on the planet – and about 15 are live [under non-disclosure agreements],” he said.
Schneider said: “With the Anatwine service, Zalando can provide brand partners with a highly customised and reliable integration solution. This close collaboration can extend our partnership with brands and help them to connect to customers through our platform.
“Our vision is to connect all the stock out there and make it relevant for our customers. It also enables brands to form their own ecommerce strategy and be in the driving seat.”
Schneider added that Zalando could use the technology to integrate other retailers, as well as brands, into its platform in future.