Role and company:
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):
Growth forecast for the next three years:
Year 1- 140,000 users
Year 2- 750,000 users
Year 3- 3,000,000 users
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:
Every single product on Grabble has already been endorsed by a user as it is 100% populated by our audience. Whenever a user Re-Grabs from a feed they can also be notified if it goes on sale, & if they follow a retailer they discover, they can get exclusive discounts.
What’s the big vision for your business?
To create a fashion content discovery platform that brings the best of fashion online into one place and enables consumers, retailers and publishers to connect with each other in an endless stream of relevant shop-able content.
We want the discovery to be fun, the interaction to be open, and for retailers to interact with potential relevant customers in a direct communication focused on their products.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:
Currently our site is functional throughout Europe, and the USA. We have created a back end system that is scalable globally and would simply require front end localisation.
The most important piece of software within Grabble is the Grab button itself which we have designed for super easy integration (simply drag and drop) which enables all retailers to sign up and add their products to our community with ease. Because the usual integration process is limited by data feeds set within the affiliate industry, competitors are themselves limited in agility to move to new territories – whereas what really interests us is emerging markets, so we have the ability through the flexibility and technical architecture of the Grab button to move to new territories and instantly begin working with retailers and consumers alike.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:
Setting up a group buying platform, doing incredibly well in the first 2 months and then the Global PR tide of hatred towards that whole industry turning in a matter of days until it suddenly became so unattractive no one wanted to work with it at all.
We learned pretty quickly from that to never set up a business simply because of a global trend and potential market opportunity, and instead to set up a business that you feel passionately about, in a growing industry area with a huge addressable market size.
What makes you mad in business today?
It was a bit frustrating setting up that no emerging retailers wanted to work with us because they didn’t know us and therefore didn’t really care about our mission statement or ease of integration, they just assumed it was complicated and difficult. As such, we had to go out and get the likes of ASOS and Topshop on board who were much easier to convince, simply to prove to our core audience that we were a platform worth considering.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?
At some point mobile payments will become so well integrated with mobile wallets that the transaction will move entirely onto mobile and therefore the design and communication strategy and how that integrates into mobile will become everything for the bottom line for retailers.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?
It’s a struggle – we started off knowing 0 investors but have ended up with a rather large list – we have put a lot of effort into going to pitch events and anything networking based that has widened up our opportunity to meet the relevant types.
How would others describe your leadership style?
Open to ideas, and always willing to learn from those around me. Social commerce is incredibly new and there is always a lot to learn from both our peers, and our market audience. There is never a dumb question in our office and we test and get feedback on everything we do and take that process very seriously. We are trying to democratise fashion online by giving power to the consumers and retailers alike to find one another and some common ground, therefore we live by that ethic in the office and run as flat a structure as we can.
Your biggest personal extravagance?
Both my pedigree cats – but they are worth it, they keep me calm!
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:
A lot of entrepreneurial businesses are being stifled by the lack of relevant skills within the labour market. The UK is home to creative minds with great ideas however the execution is being disrupted by a shortfall of technical skills. This is the number one issue facing young businesses today. The gap between supply and demand will eventually resolve itself, however Government needs to accelerate the process by completely reforming how computing is taught in schools and universities.
Grabble is a member of the 2014 Everline Future 50
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