Sustainability E-Commerce Opportunity

A look into a successful e-commerce company that secure millions in funding and is growing extremely well.

Hello, I hope everyone is doing well! In this newsletter edition, I am trying out a new format, concentrating on business opportunities. I have posted at length various examples of failed attempts as a business that eventually lead to success because of the founder's drive and motivation on not giving up. 

How can we move onwards to identify opportunities that other founders or companies capitalized on—perhaps, mimicking or learning something new from their experiences. I decided to research and post this case study email today. 

TDLR; Vinted is an online E-commerce marketplace founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2008. 

  1. The idea for this business occurred when founder Milda Mitkute needed to offload excess clothing during moving house.

  2. Vinted does not charge its users for listing or even selling their unwanted items. Instead, their revenue generation is dependent on buyers who must pay all of the transaction and shipping costs.

  3. Vinted also makes money with its Wardrobe Spotlight service, Bumping Listed Items and Buyers Protection Service Fees. Users can pay to have their listings made more visible in the news feeds or buyers' search results with the application for a relatively small fee. 

  4. Opportunity - Mimic Vinted and niche down or explore other categories altogether. 

Let's Dive in 🤿


Climate Change

As the world was dealing with Covid and many parts of the world still are, a theme emerged at the beginning of the pandemic. Climate change. Noticeably, the carbon emissions began to decline, the first time in years. 

As some countries begin to ease restrictions, carbon levels have seen apparent signs of regression to anti pandemic levels in some areas. This sparked some thoughts about how we can care for our climate while using the opportunities to create a business that surrounds that very mission. 

Opportunity Sustainable Used Clothing

I stumbled upon a company called Vinted who is doing precisely that. Their mission is to help consumers sell used clothes they no longer need or use. Opportunities to purchase clothes at a fractional price point and saving that piece of clothing from being disposed of has attracted many to its e-commerce platform.

Growth in this company has exploded. What started with two founders Milda Mitkute & Justas Janauskas) Now employs 700+ people globally. The community has also flourished to over 45 million members. 

How it works?

  1. List your item with a description and photographs

  2. Ship your item within five days following their instructions

  3. No seller fees. Once the buyer is confirmed, funds are yours to keep

  4. Great refund policy

  5. Sellers take all monetary proceeds without any fees

Financials

The older financial model was to charge seller fees upon any successful transaction. The company has moved away from that business model and now makes money in a variety of ways listed below:  

  • Buyer Protection Service Fee is an option that sellers can opt-in for, providing customer support, insurance, and shipping tracking information. The fee is 0.5% of the item price and an additional $0.70 fixed amount on top. 

  • Sellers are responsible for paying shipping costs, and that varies based on weight and size. 

  • Depending on which region you use Vinted in, a Wardrobe Spotlight section can be purchased to showcase your item in various locations, increasing views, costing £6.95.

  • Bumping Listed Items - sellers can purchase this feature to have their items listed in certain members' search results. This means more eyes on items for sale. The bumping feature is for three days at $0.70 per bump! 

Raising Capital

  • Vinted has completed six rounds of funding, totalling $562 million

  • The latest funding round raised €250,000,000 / Series F from 6 other investors.

  • Vinted has also acquired two companies to date 'United Wardrobe' & 'chicfy'. 

Opportunity

The idea of Vinted has garnered tons of attention and funding from several investors. Market validation is already complete here. There is always a need to purge once in a while to remove unused clothing. I moved recently and can't tell you how many trips to the donation box I took.

There is an opportunity to niche down to particular items around your home. It could be concentrating on dressy attire, accessories, or perhaps a different field altogether, i.e. books or technology (think old laptops etc.). The point is there is a need for sustainability, and Vinted confirms others have that same issue. 

The distinction here is, I am not sure everyone on the platform cares about climate change. I am sure some users want to sell, make a profit and move on. However, incorporating some charitable donations can help alleviate that concern. 


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Thanks for tuning in this week. I hope you found the content helpful!

Enjoy the rest of the week and stay safe.

Cheers,

Paolo

Beyond the Failure is Back!

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I created a beyond-the-failure post. Honestly, I just needed a break from the internet. Between moving homes, having my kids home from school and taking on too much online, I burnt out…

A hard lesson I learned and coincidently is what this newsletter is all about. Failure. However, I thoroughly enjoy writing this email newsletter, amongst other things. I learned taking on various projects, although fun initially, the expectations pile up way too quickly and become overwhelming just as fast.

With that in mind, I will restart posting regular content again, just as before. I am leaning towards curating business oppourinties. Why? Learning from failure is one thing, but what’s next if you do not have a place or idea to execute. Therefore, I would like to dive into finding business opportunities to exploit potentially. Maybe I will send out the next issue with this focus, and let me know your thoughts?!?

New Schedule

The schedule of this newsletter will transition to bi-weekly submissions. This will allow me to research and prepare a well-thought-out article without being too cumbersome for my schedule.

That being said, The next full issue will be posted on June 14th @ 7:00 am., followed by June 28th and so on.

I hope to regain any trust I lost along the way and hope you will stick around and enjoy the content as it's published.

As always, stay safe and have a great weekend/week ahead

Paolo

Building Ourselves

Hi friends,

This week’s topic revolves around ourselves. Sometimes, it's not necessarily the business itself that stumbles, but our own habits that cause us to overlook things, procrastinate, doubt ourselves and are afraid to take risks.

Let’s dive into a few resources worth a read!


Atomic Habits - James Clear

If you haven’t heard of James Clear and Atomic habits (which I doubt) he has elegantly explained how habits can make us or break us in this book.

An atomic habit is a regular practice or routine that is not only small and easy to do but is also the source of incredible power; a component of the system of compound growth.

Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.

Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years.

Tiago Forte - Building a Second Brain

productivity guru who specializes in teaching cohorts of students how to be productive. Tiago’s approach is more detailed however, if this type of productivity is your thing I recommend giving him a look. He is known for the course called ‘Your Second Brain’ where the process of how to take, store, sort and understand tasks in your day-to-day life is the primary subject of the course.

Jake Butcher - Visualize Value

Jake had been running an agency business for a year already, and despite making a good living, it was annihilating him. He became decent at selling agency services: brand, design, content, and strategy.

Jake continually posted new images every day, and as a result, his network grew exponentially, and got introduced to hundreds of brilliant people, many of which turned into clients and collaborators.

Now he is doing extremely well. Doing 6 figures easily doing what he enjoys and what he is good at. Sometimes we need the courage to pivot and do the things we enjoy in life, we need the ability to take risks, even when it’s so hard to make the jump.

Newsletter Feature

Anne-Laure Le Cunff - 5 Tools to add in your Metacognitive Toolbox

Anne-Laure is a neuroscience student (last that I have heard) and posted this short and concise article “Developing metacognitive skills is essential to being productive while taking care of your mental health”.

Anne-Laure was one of the first people that I subscribed to when the initial newsletter boom was happening. Her Newsletter called Maker Mind now has 25,000 subs and is obviously doing well. Check her out!


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Thanks for tuning in this week. I hope you found the content helpful. If so, please share it with some friends!

Enjoy the rest of the week and stay safe.

Cheers,

Paolo

Building in Public

Hi friends,

This week’s topic revolves around building in public. We have touched on building a community and validating our idea in past issues. The next logical step is to start building or creating “it”.

Let’s dive into a few resources worth a read!

Building in Public Definite Guide by Kevon Cheung

In this guide, Kevon goes through the building in public process and has broken it down into easy to digest chapters (9). From what is building in public to how to write content and in what channels to publish them in.

The Building in Public How-To Guide by Gaby Goldberg

Another guide to sink your teeth into. A few bullet points from the article:

  • Share real quotes & screenshots of feedback from users

  • Propose interesting product ideas and ask the community for feedback

  • Articulate roadblocks the company is facing and how to overcome them

  • Give insight into largely unknown aspects of the company/product

  • Share “sneak peeks” and vague product updates for things to come

  • Post screenshots of internal Slack messages showcasing company culture

  • Tell emotional stories about your company to pull at followers’ heartstrings

SweatyStartup

A Reddit user who owned and operated a university storage and moving company posted various lessons learned on the /entrepreneur subreddit. I remember reading his posts a year ago and while they were informative, people in the comments either were thankful or accused him of spam or other mean things.

However, that didn’t seem to stop him. Recently he migrated over to twitter and exploded in terms of followers. Point is when building in public anticipate you’ll get haters and lots of them, but keep doing whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. Building a following can take different amounts of time. Here, Nick started Twitter on Jan 22/21 and is providing value by sharing his expertises on real estate…

One thing about me

I wanted to share something about myself, both to be transparent but to also get to know the subscribers in a more personal level. Feel free to share something about yourselves in the comments 👇

My one thing is, I love to create.. Creating in a multitude of ways, drawing, both physically or digitally. I love to express things through creating. I have picked up my love of drawing again. Here a sneak peak of what I’m sketching. Im still far from an amazing artist but practice makes perfect.

Whats your one thing? 👇


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Thanks for tuning in this week. I hope you found the content helpful. If so, please share it with some friends!

Enjoy the rest of the week and stay safe.

Cheers,

Paolo

Validation & MVPs

Hey friends,

This week’s topics are about idea validation and MVPs. How we can leverage these topics to ensure we have a product or business worth spending our time and money into.

Lets dive into a few resources worth a read!

💡 Idea Validation

Validating business ideas is important, from a time and monetary perspective. Why? If you build your business, and invest hard-earned dollars, I am certain you want it to work out.

But, if you have approached no one or spoken to customers about the problem you are trying to solve, how did you know it’s something that ‘customers’ want and would pay for? The linked article goes through 5 important steps addressing these very topics.

💨 Minimum Value Product (MVP)

A term I first read in Eric Ries’s book “The Lean Startup”. Essentially it means, to quickly create a very basic prototype, that is not expensive, or doesn’t take too long to create. The idea is to create this basic version and show people “potential customers” what you’re trying to solve.

Based on feedback “validation” you then commit to a better product and spend more time on it. This only applies if the signal to create this product is well received and creates interest, otherwise, you abandon it, and go onto the next idea.

🎤 Jeff Bezos Motivational Speech

In this video, Jeff speaks about business, how to make bold bets and experiment.

“Companies that don’t embrace failure get into a desperate position of hail Mary bets at the end of their company existence.”

The Mom Test by Ryan Fitzpatrick

A book about the questions to ask and to whom. A few points outlined below.


How did you like this Issue?

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Thanks for tuning in this week. I hope you found the content helpful. If so, please share it with some friends!

Enjoy the rest of the week and stay safe.

Cheers,

Paolo

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