Material Exchange plants €25 million underfoot

Helping an oft-cast 'dirty' industry clean up its act through digitising the materials sourcing process, Material Exchange has raised €25 million in a Series A funding round.
Material Exchange plants €25 million underfoot

Stockholm-based €25 million has raised €25 million in a Series A round. As the name implies, Material Exchange is a virtual marketplace designed to simplify the relationship between footwear and apparel brands and material suppliers. 

The new dosh is expected to bolster the Exchange’s product lineup which facilitates the organisation of materials and collaboration between the aforementioned stakeholders as well as a 3D scanning offer that provides for the creation of accurate visuals. Since 2017, Material Exchange has raised an approximate total of $35.4 million.

According to McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2022 report, the fashion industry generated, “$2.5 trillion in global annual revenues before the pandemic,” and yet, has a far, far way to go when it comes to efficiency, say nothing of the environmentally damaging practices of the industry.

In August of 2016, the roots of Material Exchange began to take shape as a group of industry professionals took a step back to reimagine how the process could, and perhaps should work. No easy task by far.

Instead of sifting through countless books, yes, actual printed books, of material swatches, the team sought to leverage nascent digital visualization technologies and filtering capabilities to build a better mousetrap.

"Material Exchange enhances the opportunities for brands and retailers and improves the materials supply chain." - Julie Hughes President at U.S. Fashion Industry Association

Fast forward some 8 years, and that vision is now a full-fledged reality, with brands around the globe leveraging Material Exchange’s SaaS offering, not only simplifying the entire sourcing process but giving an oft-cast ‘dirty’ industry a cleaner face by helping to reduce its carbon footprint.

“With this round, we’re able to accelerate our mission of leading the global revolution to sustainable, transparent apparel and footwear material sourcing by aggregating fragmented data into one digital solution,” commented CEO and co-founder Darren Glenister. “We believe the shift will ultimately have the greatest impact for brands and suppliers as well as end-consumers.”

Members of the Material Exchange team

Material Exchange’s €25 million Series A round was led by London’s Molten Ventures, with previous seed investors including Partech, Inventure, Norrsken, Lyra, and Day One Capital all participating.

“With Material Exchange, we see a significant and largely untapped opportunity in digitizing the highly complex and offline fashion supply chain. The need for transparency and sustainability as well as ongoing supply chain disruptions are proving to be powerful forces for accelerating the structural trend of digitisation of sourcing workflows for both brands and suppliers in the apparel industry,” commented Molten’s Nicola McClafferty.

Lead image: Beto Ruiz Alonso

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