Otrium Amps Up Leadership with Appointment of Zuhairah Scott Washington as President
Washington will lead global expansion of the brand into the U.S.
9 SEPTEMBER 2021
Washington will lead global expansion of the brand into the U.S.
Andrew Robb, the Farfetch’s former COO, to join board
Amsterdam, 15 June, 2021 - Otrium, the premier online outlet shopping experience, today announces the appointment of Zuhairah Scott Washington as President. Joining from Expedia Group, she brings her experience in navigating digital transformation and business model disruption to Otrium’s rapidly expanding end-to-end marketplace for fashion.
In addition, Otrium has appointed Andrew Robb, formerly Chief Operating Officer at Farfetch, to its board in the role of Non-Executive Director. Having scaled Farfetch during his 10 years as COO, Robb will bring his expertise to bear in scaling Otrium into a global ecommerce leader.
Otrium is a fashion marketplace that solves the enormous multi-billion dollar industry challenge of unsold inventory. Currently, around 12% of clothing produced stays unsold. Using proprietary technology, Otrium works with fashion brands to help find a buyer for every item of clothing produced. It offers brands an easy way to set up an online outlet store, leveraging its in-depth analytics to ensure brands maximize their revenues and ensuring customers get the best fashion brands at exceptional prices, all with premium service.
Otrium partners with leading fashion brands, including Karl Lagerfeld, Joseph, Anine Bing, Belstaff and Reiss. In 2020, Otrium saw revenues triple, with registered members surpassing 3 million and over 300 fashion stores now on its app. It serves over 20 markets across Europe and the US from 3 logistics hubs.
Says co-founder and CEO, Milan Daniels, “It was really important to us to find an extraordinary leader to match our global ambitions. In Zuhairah, we’ve found an exemplary strategist and people leader who can help us make our mark, not just on the US market, but also as part of the team driving our global expansion at a fast pace.”
Says Washington, “I’m energized by Otrium’s mission to build a purpose-driven fashion marketplace that eradicates the $180 billion in unsold inventory created each year. Our platform will extend the life cycle of fashion by empowering designer brands with data, insights and tools to help them find an owner for every item they produce at an exceptional price. We are excited to play an important role in the push for more sustainable fashion.”
Adds Daniels, “In addition to Zuhairah joining, we’ve strengthened our board team with Andrew Robb, bringing us a huge amount of passion and experience in rapidly-scaling technology-led businesses, from early stage through to hyper-growth.”
Says Robb, “I’m interested in businesses that can change the world. Having helped scale Farfetch from an early stage through to becoming a global leader in luxury fashion ecommerce, I can see the global potential in Otrium. I’m excited to be joining the board to see it through this scaling phase of its journey – there’s no better time to be a part of what Otrium is bringing to the fashion world.”
Clothing brands partner with Otrium to find a home for every unsold item, and leverage its tech platform to unlock the commercial potential of end-of-season fashionAmsterdam, March 31, 2021 - Otrium, the end-to-end marketplace for end-of-season fashion, has announced $120 million Series C funding, its US launch and the introduction of new capabilities aimed at reducing unsold fashion in the future. Otrium has also revealed that revenues have tripled in 2020, Otrium’s registered members surpassed 3 million, and it now has over 300 fashion stores on its app. Among its partners are Karl Lagerfeld, Joseph, Anine Bing, Belstaff, Reiss and ASICS.The $120m round was co-led by BOND and Index Ventures. Juliet de Baubigny, a general partner at BOND, will join Otrium’s board of directors. The round also had continued participation from Eight Roads Ventures. The newly raised capital will accelerate US expansion, the development of Otrium’s technology platform, and support hiring.Otrium is working with the fashion industry to ensure that every item of clothing is worn, helping to find a buyer for every piece already produced, and providing the tools brands need to develop lines that they can have confidence will sell. When selling end-of-season collections on Otrium, fashion houses retain full control over pricing, merchandising, and visibility of their excess inventory. Around, 12% of clothing produced stays unsold.“Our goal is to get as close as possible to eradicating unsold seasonal inventory. Firstly, we help fashion brands find homes for clothing items that would otherwise remain unsold and maximise the revenue they generate on those items. Secondly, we leverage our in-depth analytics to help brands determine which clothing and at what quantities and price will sell the most in the future,” commented Milan Daniels, CEO and co-founder of Otrium.Otrium recently rolled out expanded analytics functionality which helps fashion houses analyse past demand to determine which items have staying power, potentially becoming iconic items for brands. “We believe that the fashion world will see a rebalancing in the next few years, with more sales being driven by iconic items that brands sell year after year, and will be less reliant on new seasonal launches. We work with brands to help them understand which of their items will stand the test of time, at what price and quantity,” Daniels added.“I look forward to partnering with the Otrium team as the company expands to the US, and believe the platform is well-positioned to bring dynamic and affordable solutions to the apparel market,” said Juliet de Baubigny, a general partner at BOND.“The notion of brands producing fewer new items and focusing more on what their customers love and buy over and over again, is powerful,” said Danny Rimer, Index Ventures General Partner and board member of Otrium. “It’s not an entirely new strategy in the fashion industry, but one that was limited to a few items and a small proportion of global fashion brands. With Otrium, every fashion label can begin to build their iconic portfolio.”
In 2013, Netherlands-natives and recent grads Milan Daniels and Max Klijnstra launched a somewhat successful sweater brand in Amsterdam. The two were selling thousands of sweaters in over 20 countries, and doing 4-6 collections per year. What they eventually noticed, however, was that their warehouse was filled with a vast amount of items from previous collections, even after they’d already done their sale.Daniels and Klijnstra decided to look into solutions for these end-of-season clothes, so they talked to stock buyers, e-commerce sites that offered flash sales, physical outlet centers, and large outlet malls.They eventually learned that every brand had the problem of unsold inventory, that stock buyers and flash sales took very high margins, and that it was difficult for many brands to break the barrier to market entry at physical outlets.
So, in 2015 they launched undefined, an online marketplace for end-of-season clothes that allows brands to sell their unsold inventory at cheaper prices.In late May of 2020, Otrium announced that it had raised €24 million in Series B funding, in a round led by Eight Roads Ventures, with existing investors Index Ventures and Hans Veldhuizen participating.“We are trying to change the perception that clothing that is usually 3 months or 6 months at full price and after it’s seen as worthless” Milan Daniels, cofounder and co-CEO says. “We wanted to build a platform where these items get a chance at being bought at a price that is cheaper but still values all the resources that went to the product.”
As a global company, we don’t want to limit ourselves to just one office or location. Read on to hear about our move to a digital HQ.Otrium was dreamt up as a digital-first company and we’ll always be that way. That’s why we’ve launched our HQ in the cloud.. It gives our employees, the O-team, the freedom and flexibility to carry out their work however suits them best. It also reaffirms our global, inclusive mindset.Beliefs
We hold four important beliefs that were the foundations of creating a HQ in the cloud. Firstly, we have a high-performance culture – we trust our teams to always deliver the best work. We understand that output is more important than the hours put in or the location the work was carried out in.Secondly, we already do everything in the cloud – our meetings, documents, daily communications (next to our communication in real life or in our hubs). It’s all online so it makes sense to cement this with an HQ in the cloud.Thirdly, we see all our hubs around the globe as equally important. All Otrium employees should receive the same employee experience. Last but not least, we see our hubs as social places where we can collaborate, concentrate and create. And we don’t want this process to stop just because our teams are in different cities or timezones. And everyone gets to choose the work model that’s best for them – and can change their work model twice a year to reflect their lives and changing circumstances as required.Working models
The Otrium work models include: remote first, hub first and a hybrid version of the two (50/50). With remote first, employees are 90% remote and will mostly work from another location other than our hub (so not necessarily working from home). With hub first, you’ll work from a hub for 80% of your time. We ask our O-team to keep working remotely for 20% of their time, to stimulate our digital way of working, productivity and to decrease commuting. The third model is our hybrid model, meaning you work 50% remote and 50% in one of our hubs.Freedom and flexibility
Finally, along with our HQ in the cloud, Otrium gives our team the freedom and flexibility to work remotely for eight calendar weeks per calendar year from another country than where registered on the employee’s contract. This could include working from another Otrium hub or location of choice.When dealing with different time zones, we make sure we document as much as possible. We use Notion as our source for company-wide info, our employee handbook, team pages and for all meeting notes, slides and recordings. Whether it’s 8am in Amsterdam or midnight in Auckland, all our information will always be there – in the cloud.Milan adds: “The future of work is flexibility. We’re building a truly global and diverse team. To do that we’ve created a model that adapts to people’s lives, instead of a one-size-fits-all model, which doesn’t reflect the way people want to work now. We’re giving our people the choice – in when, how and where they work. With our HQ in the cloud, we’ve developed a truly flexible working model that works for everyone, wherever they are in the world and whatever their personal circumstances. Our HQ in the cloud is the future of flexible working.”