Irish start-up Thriftify has agreed a €1.6 million investment and said it will create 20 jobs over the next year as the company plans to grow its business.
The online marketplace, which allows charity shops to sell online and encourages ethical buying, is hiring for roles in technology, ecommerce, sales and marketing.
The investment was led by the HBAN Impact Syndicate, with participation from Themvar VC and angel investors that include River Island chief executive Ben Lewis.
Thriftify, which was established by chief executive Rónán Ó ‘Dálaigh, Timur Negru and Rahil Nazir in 2018, has seen significant development in recent months, moving into the UK market. It has also enhanced its technology platform to include the ability to automatically value charity shop donations, list them on dozens of marketplaces online and handle the entire ecommerce process, including customer care and fulfilment.
It now has the majority of Irish charity shops on its platform, and is continuing to invest in UK expansion.
“Investment in impact driven companies is hard to come by so this investment is a major boost not only to us, but to all entrepreneurs and companies whose priority is a sustainable, impactful future. As a team, we’re absolutely thrilled to have the resources we need to fundamentally change the fashion industry,” Mr Ó ‘Dálaigh said.
“We’ve been bootstrapped and lean for a long time and, while we’ll still stay true to that, we’re going to invest in some remarkable new hires and areas that we know are going to generate a major impact, so overall it’s definitely the most exciting period in our journey so far.”
The expansion will be a significant one for the company, which currently employs 30 people across Ireland, Britain, Moldova, India, Pakistan and Spain, and has offices in London and Dublin. Thriftify is aiming to get all registered charity retailers in Britain selling on the site by the end of next year.
“The challenge we all face is changing how and why we do business because, from a climate perspective, our economic model is completely broken,” Mr Ó ‘Dálaigh said. “Growth for growth’s sake has destroyed large parts of our planet and made us unhappier as a society. Seeing those with major capital come on board with our radical vision of disrupting one of the largest culprits, the fashion industry, gives me huge hope and optimism.”
HBAN’s Yvan Gouttebelle said more investment was needed to help fund sustainable development. “I see a tremendous ability in Rónán and the team, who are able to break the boundaries of second-hand online marketplaces while supporting charitable organisations,” he said. “HBAN’s investment in Thriftify is a clear sign that Irish business angels are dedicated to solving sustainable development goals for the Irish economy and beyond. While this is a strong start, more angel impact investing is needed.”