The blockchain-based platform helps fashion brands to collect information from their supply chain

The blockchain-based platform helps fashion brands to collect information from their supply chain

German tech start-up Retraced has raised EUR1m (US$1.2m) in seed funding to help grow its blockchain based supply chain management platform for fashion.

The Retraced platform helps brands to collect information from their supply chains on suppliers, working conditions, materials, certifications, and environmental impacts and to share this with their customers. This, in turn, helps them to better monitor their impact on their supply chains, become more transparent in their operations, and enables customers to make informed purchasing decisions.

The EUR1m in seed funding comes from European VC firm Samaipata and will be used to fuel its expansion and add innovative new features. The latest investment round follows a successful pre-seed round from 12 months ago.

Since the pandemic hit the industry last year, Retraced has managed to onboard 40 new brands to the platform in the EU and the US in a move it says underlines a strong interest in supply chain digitalisation for improved transparency and sustainability management. 

"Our clients have clear sustainability targets in mind that they want to achieve. Together with them, we have defined the necessary information that they need to manage their sustainability efforts and to evaluate their progress," says Philipp Mayer, co-founder and CPO.

"We've benefitted from their input, and continue to improve our efficient tracing and document management tools, supplier sustainability assessments, end-consumer communication widget, and other core functions to help them get the actionable overviews they need to get the most out of their investment in sustainability. We are here to accelerate and guide their sustainability efforts."

The firm says the investment deal also signals an important opportunity for fashion during a time where the fallout from the pandemic affects the stability and health of supply chains. The values of transparency, compliance, and social responsibility are becoming more important for helping the industry recover and succeed. 

"Covid 19 represents a huge challenge, but at the same time a unique opportunity for fashion to refocus and rebuild," says Lukas Pünder, co-founder and CEO of Retraced. "We are building a platform that will help brands produce better, manage their responsibilities to all of their stakeholders, and stay ready for what's to come."

José del Barrio, founding partner at Samaipata, adds: "We truly believe we are entering a new era of enterprise transparency towards the end-consumer, given the growing regulatory pressure on compliance management, and the reputational cost of not facing increasing demands from new consumers. 90% of Generation Z affirms that companies are responsible for dealing with social and environmental issues, and we believe there's an amazing opportunity for a platform play in the space, leveraging on network effects between brands and other stakeholders sharing data and best practices and willing to work together for a fairer supply chain management."

Last summer, US denim brand Boyish Jeans harnessed Retraced's solution to communicate the sustainable supply chains behind its products to online consumers.