Because of the unpredictable nature of the fashion industry, fashion brands often have to “guestimate” demand for their products, and if they get that demand wrong, they have to deal with the wasted inventory. All too often clothes end up being incinerated unnecessarily, adding to their environmental impact. U.K. startup Purple Dot has an e-commerce “waitlist and pre-order” platform, allowing fashion brands to only produce the exact volume of goods ordered, thereby cutting down waste.
Purple Dot has now raised a $4 million early-stage funding round led by U.S.-based Unusual Ventures. Previous investors Connect Ventures, Moxxie Ventures and the family office of Indeed co-founder Paul Forster also participated.
Founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Madeline Parra and John Talbott, Purple Dot says it allows e-commerce businesses the ability to “sell inventory earlier as a way to maximize sales, build brand loyalty, and access demand data earlier.” Purple Dot’s waitlist solution allows inventory to be sold before it arrives in the warehouse. The startup claims it’s the only solution of its type available in the market.
Madeline Parra, CEO and co-founder of Purple Dot, said: “By selling earlier, brands open up a whole new window to capture sales. The legacy mindset and technology assumes you need inventory in the warehouse to sell it. But with Purple Dot, you can always be selling because selling and shipping can be asynchronous. This is the “A-ha” moment for our brand partners. To get a sell-earlier strategy right, you need a dedicated approach that gets the customer experience, and internal tooling, right.”
Rachel Star, investor at Unusual Ventures, said: “Purple Dot is more than an ecommerce enabler; they are revolutionizing how supply chains are managed and how brands sell, and we believe that pre-orders and waitlists will shape the future of online shopping.”