Today we’re excited to announce that MakerSights has raised a new $25.6 million Series B round of financing led by G2 Venture Partners. In G2, we found a firm with unrivaled expertise in supporting sustainable, commercially-minded transformations of traditional industries like retail. As we got to know Monica Varman, Zach Barasz, Ben Kortlang and the broader G2 partnership, it became clear that we were adding partners deeply committed to our vision for a less wasteful future for retail.
The past 16-months in retail have been defined by distress, transformation and promise. Everyone in the industry - from brands to factories to solution providers like us - has rapidly evolved to stay afloat. In the wake of widespread lockdown measures, brands were faced with sweeping store closures and plummeting customer orders. The subsequent need to triage gluts of inventory flowing into the market, while scrambling to right-size future inventory orders, sent a rippling effect throughout the industry.
Yet as the initial frantic nerves began to calm, opportunities to reflect and evolve emerged. In March of 2020, I spoke with a leading footwear executive about his team’s experience so far. He pointed to the wide range of traditional industry practices that were being cast aside amidst the crisis:
-Traveling to global headquarters for the new season unveil? Nope, we just cancelled our flights.
-Holding and feeling a sample before an adoption decision? We’re lucky to just have imagery available.
-Sitting around the table with category managers, regions and sales to discuss newness? 20 people trying to voice opinions on video chat isn’t so effective.
Over the last year and across the entire industry, we’ve watched necessity-driven process changes pave the way for lasting improvements to the ways of working at brands. After facing severe inventory overhangs when Covid-19 first hit, brands are now embracing data-driven strategies to better rationalize the SKUs they bring to market; cancelled travel and office closures quickly spurred the digitization of seasonal milestones meetings, eliminating entire steps (and months of time!) from their retail calendars; and the explosion in eCommerce sales unlocked troves of consumer data, setting off an industry-wide race to harness this data to better serve consumers.
We’re proud to be supporting each of these transformations, transformations that we believe are setting the foundation for our brands to become more responsive to the needs of the modern consumer - the implications of which go far beyond protecting margin or hitting quarterly growth goals.
In a retail industry plagued by overproduction, where nearly 40% of manufactured products fail to sell, developing structural solutions for reducing waste is critical. At MakerSights, we believe that the key to dramatically reducing waste in the retail industry is to help brands become more responsive to their consumers. In G2, we’re thrilled to add a partner that shares our commitment to delivering long-term sustainable transformation, joining a terrific group of new and existing MakerSight investors in support of our mission. We have been energized by the progress we’ve seen in the retail industry over the past 16 months and are thrilled to be armed with new resources to continue delivering capabilities for our brand partners and expanding our presence within the global retail ecosystem.
Co-founder and CEO, MakerSights
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