In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top up and coming businesses in Ireland. This week we feature digital charity shop platform Thriftify.
What is it?
Thriftify is a digital platform that is turning the €2bn bricks and mortar-based charity shop market into a €20bn e-commerce-based market. Each year 150 million items are donated to charity shops in the UK and Ireland. With thriftify, charity shops can now quickly value these donations and sell them online, driving increased sales and higher price-points. The company is hoping to leverage the enormous demand for sustainable fashion, which is outgrowing all other fashion segments and will be bigger than luxury by 2022.
Thriftify sells everything that is donated to charity shops and currently has over 15,000 items for sales on thriftify.ie, mainly books.
Who’s behind it?
Rónán Ó Dálaigh is an experienced entrepreneur who along with software architect Rahil Nazir, customer support expert Timur Negru and salesperson Emily Beere are the team behind Thriftify. Rónán believes that the diversity of their team is their biggest asset, with a combined wealth of experience in the three major areas they operate; entrepreneurship, sales and tech. As a devoted environmental activist Rónan believes Thriftify can be the go-to source for sustainable, positive purchasing. As CTO Rahil is leading the development of a unique e-commerce platform that is satisfying a critical need for both charity shops and the general public. On one hand the platform needs to be easy to use for charity shops and on the other it needs to satisfy the very high demands of the general public when selling online. As COO Timur oversees the business’s main challenge, helping charity shops implement an e-commerce-ification of their shops and solving the fulfillment challenges associated with that. In Emily the team have found their sales taliswoman who’s helping them maintain a 97% retention rate.
How is it funded?
Thriftify is backed by Enterprise Ireland through their HPSU programme. The company charges a monthly fee for use of the platform as well as a transaction fee for each purchase made through the various sales platforms on which Thriftify handles charity shop donations. The business is currently undergoing a €750,000 seed round raise and is inviting interested investors to reach out to their team directly.
How is it funded?
Thriftify will be launching into the sustainable fashion market in a big way in the coming months. Ultimately, however, the team see their biggest impact coming from UK and eventual US expansion. The team believe that people are ready to transition to sustainable goods in a big way and most importantly, that charity shops are willing to undergo a small change in their operations for the sake of a 30% profit bump, which the platform is currently achieving for its top users.