Laren (Netherlands), 28 May 2019
Software developer Colect joins hands with Shoe Investments, a Dutch private equity company owned by entrepreneur Pieter Schoen, to fund and accelerate its product development and international growth plans
Colect already has a major presence in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany and intends to use the growth capital to greatly accelerate its rollout throughout Europe. The company enables fashion brands to present their entire fashion collection in real-time and to process orders via an iPad or web shop. As the user base, which already numbers 78,000 clients, has immediate access to updated real-time information on inventories and price adjustments (direct link to ERP), users can operate much more quickly and efficiently with fewer samples.
The most recent development is a fully digitised showroom that provides improved support for the purchasing process with the help of flat screens. The entire collection can be displayed on the screens, complete with photographs and video images, and orders can be processed with the click of a mouse.
The over 300 fashion brands in Colect’s client portfolio include brands such as Scotch & Soda, Triumph, Björn Borg, Denham, Peak Performance, Puma and O’Neill. Over the last few years, the total number of users has increased by over 50 per cent to over 78,000 users. The number of orders processed by the Colect platform is increasing at an annual rate of about 20 per cent and exceeded 37 million orders in 2018, representing over €3 billion of turnover.
“Our software provides the fashion industry with innovative cutting-edge digital technology, and we intend to further strengthen our position internationally as market leader in this exciting area”, explains Nick Andriesse, founder and executive director. “I have no doubt that the expertise and track record of Shoe Investments will be of great value to us in scaling up our organisation rapidly and reliably in order to respond effectively to the rapidly growing demand for our software products. In addition, we have strengthened our management team with Arthur Hoffman, a dedicated professional with over 20 years of experience in assisting companies in the digital sector to expand their international footprint.”
Fashion brands as well as retailers are in the midst of a rapid shift to digitisation in their markets. “This shift is enabling the sector to increase resale speeds, optimise pricing and inventory levels, and gain faster and better insight into their own inventories and collections”, according to Arthur Hoffman. Nick Andriesse adds: “Digitisation allows the fashion industry to respond more efficiently and effectively to the wishes of consumers, who are becoming increasingly flexible and demanding.”
The growth capital injection by Shoe Investments and the expansion of the management team will enable the company to accelerate its innovation, product development, and international rollout in markets such as Germany, Scandinavia and Great Britain. France and Italy are high on their target list.
Investor and entrepreneur Pieter Schoen sees an enormous potential in the company: “We are deeply impressed by the business model that Nick and his team have built until now, and we have no doubt that we can work with them to rapidly accelerate their growth and rollout in the coming years.”
Colect provides mobile sales solutions for the fashion industry. Over 78,000 users in sales and retail are already working with the Colect platform practically on a daily basis. Under the Colect brand name, the parent company Apptitude provides scalable solutions for mobile sales, B2B, and retail sales in shops for leading brands in fashion, shoes, sports clothing, underwear, and accessories via a cloud-based platform. This digital platform enables companies in the fashion sector to grow more rapidly via a more efficient exchange of product information, assortment planning, order processing and data analysis.
Shoe Investments invests directly in rapidly growing and scalable companies. As an investor, it has a hands-on approach based on adding value via its knowledge of e-commerce solutions, including B2B and B2C, sales, marketing, and finance & control. In addition to investing directly in selected companies, Shoe Investments also invests in various funds (global private equity, venture capital, real estate etc.). Shoe Investments presently has roughly 30 direct as well as indirect participations.