Moteefe, Interview with Co-Founder & CEO Mathijs Eefting

Moteefe is a social commerce platform that allows thousands of entrepreneurs to create products to sell via social media. Launched in late 2015, the company has already reached meaningful achievements featuring over 30+ products on the platform to upload designs to, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, babygrows, phone cases, mugs, tote bags, cushions, towels, etc. It employs 30+ people in London, Lisbon and St Petersburg.

Moteefe recently raised £1.75M in seed+ funding round Following the announcement, Mathijs Eefting, Co-Founder & CEO, answered our questions about himself, the market, the company, its solutions, etc.

FinSMEs: Hi Mathijs, can you tell a bit more about you? What’s your background?
Mathijs: Hi,​ ​I’m​ ​Mathijs​ ​and​ ​I’m​ ​CEO​ ​and​ ​co-founder​ ​of​ ​Moteefe,​ ​a​ ​social​ ​commerce platform​ ​that​ ​enables​ ​entrepreneurs​ ​to​ ​create​ ​and​ ​sell​ ​custom​ ​clothing​ ​and​ ​products.​ ​My background​ ​is​ ​as​ ​a​ ​consultant​ ​in​ ​my​ ​native​ ​Holland​ ​before​ ​completing​ ​my​ ​MBA​ ​at INSEAD,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​where​ ​I​ ​met​ ​my​ ​fellow​ ​co-founders​ ​Lev​ ​Kundin​ ​and​ ​Olivier Stapylton-Smith.

FinSMEs: Is social commerce the next big thing?
Mathijs: Absolutely!​ ​Social​ ​commerce​ ​has​ ​been​ ​growing​ ​rapidly​ ​in​ ​the​ ​last​ ​couple​ ​of​ ​years but​ ​the​ ​next​ ​12​ ​months​ ​will​ ​see​ ​exponential​ ​growth​ ​in​ ​this​ ​area.​ ​Social​ ​media​ ​is completely​ ​changing​ ​how​ ​we​ ​purchase​ ​online​ ​-​ ​our​ ​habits​ ​are​ ​now​ ​much​ ​more impulse-driven​ ​and​ ​peer​ ​reviews​ ​mean​ ​more​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before.​ ​We’re​ ​aiming​ ​to​ ​bring social​ ​commerce​ ​to​ ​the​ ​forefront​ ​with​ ​Moteefe​ ​-​ ​we​ ​enable​ ​entrepreneurs​ ​to​ ​easily​ ​create custom​ ​designs​ ​that​ ​are​ ​then​ ​put​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​niche​ ​audiences.

We​ ​are​ ​now​ ​buying​ ​more​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before​ ​from​ ​individuals​ ​and​ ​small​ ​businesses​ ​via social​ ​media.​ ​While​ ​big​ ​businesses​ ​are​ ​spreading​ ​their​ ​nets​ ​far​ ​and​ ​wide​ ​by​ ​targeting larger​ ​audiences,​ ​our​ ​entrepreneurs​ ​create​ ​products​ ​that​ ​are​ ​targeted​ ​towards​ ​smaller, much​ ​more​ ​niche​ ​audience​ ​types​ ​that​ ​have​ ​very​ ​specific​ ​interests.​ ​We​ ​often​ ​describe ourselves​ ​as​ ​a​ ​B2B2C​ ​company​ ​as​ ​our​ ​main​ ​set​ ​of​ ​‘customers’​ ​are​ ​our​ ​large​ ​groups​ ​of entrepreneurs​ ​and​ ​influencers​ ​who​ ​sell​ ​on​ ​our​ ​site,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​teach​ ​them​ ​how​ ​to​ ​find quality​ ​customers​ ​via​ ​top-quality​ ​advertising.

FinSMEs: Given this, how did you come up with the idea of creating Moteefe? Which problem do you want to solve? Which was the market opportunity to take?
Mathijs: Good​ ​question.​ ​While​ ​we​ ​were​ ​studying​ ​at​ ​INSEAD,​ ​we​ ​were​ ​tasked​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a full​ ​plan​ ​for​ ​a​ ​scalable​ ​online​ ​business,​ ​and​ ​that’s​ ​how​ ​we​ ​accidentally​ ​started​ ​the​ ​initial plans​ ​for​ ​Moteefe.​ ​At​ ​the​ ​time,​ ​there​ ​were​ ​a​ ​few​ ​similar​ ​companies​ ​in​ ​the​ ​US​ ​with​ ​similar business​ ​models​ ​and​ ​we​ ​knew​ ​this​ ​was​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​opportunity.​ ​We​ ​spent​ ​many​ ​months researching​ ​and​ ​planning​ ​it​ ​after​ ​we​ ​had​ ​finished​ ​our​ ​MBAs,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​wasn’t​ ​too​ ​long​ ​after where​ ​we​ ​had​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​the​ ​difficult​ ​question​ ​of:​ ​do​ ​we​ ​go​ ​back​ ​to​ ​our​ ​previous​ ​roles​ ​or​ ​do we​ ​take​ ​the​ ​plunge​ ​and​ ​just​ ​do​ ​it?

Problem-wise,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​many​ ​that​ ​we​ ​wish​ ​to​ ​solve​ ​with​ ​Moteefe.​ ​First​ ​and​ ​foremost,​ ​we want​ ​to​ ​help​ ​entrepreneurs​ ​to​ ​create​ ​their​ ​own​ ​businesses.​ ​The​ ​first​ ​time​ ​one​ ​of​ ​our sellers​ ​told​ ​us​ ​that​ ​he’d​ ​left​ ​his​ ​job​ ​to​ ​work​ ​via​ ​Moteefe​ ​full-time,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​unbelievable.​ ​For me,​ ​helping​ ​people​ ​to​ ​make​ ​money​ ​is​ ​an​ ​insane​ ​job​ ​to​ ​have​ ​each​ ​day.​ ​We’ve​ ​got​ ​sellers who​ ​are​ ​making​ ​more​ ​money​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before​ ​and​ ​the​ ​genuine​ ​happiness​ ​that​ ​our​ ​sellers have​ ​keeps​ ​us​ ​going​ ​every​ ​day.

Secondly,​ ​one​ ​big​ ​problem​ ​that​ ​Moteefe​ ​solves​ ​is​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​method​ ​of​ ​creating custom-made​ ​products.​ ​Traditionally,​ ​you​ ​had​ ​to​ ​purchase​ ​stock​ ​upfront​ ​and​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​sell all​ ​colours​ ​and​ ​sizes​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​make​ ​any​ ​profits.​ ​The​ ​Moteefe​ ​platform​ ​flips​ ​this​ ​whole process​ ​on​ ​its​ ​head,​ ​by​ ​producing​ ​only​ ​what​ ​you​ ​have​ ​sold​ ​and​ ​ensuring​ ​you’re​ ​not​ ​left with​ ​stock​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​shift.

FinSMEs: How does Moteefe work?
Mathijs: Leading​ ​on​ ​from​ ​above,​ ​purchasing​ ​stock​ ​and​ ​having​ ​to​ ​sell​ ​particular​ ​items​ ​can be​ ​frustrating​ ​and​ ​takes​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​time,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​coming​ ​with​ ​no​ ​guarantee​ ​of​ ​success.
With​ ​Moteefe,​ ​users​ ​upload​ ​their​ ​designs​ ​and​ ​choose​ ​their​ ​products,​ ​with​ ​only​ ​ordered items​ ​going​ ​to​ ​print​ ​to​ ​generate​ ​maximum​ ​profits​ ​for​ ​the​ ​seller.
From​ ​the​ ​backend​ ​of​ ​Moteefe,​ ​we​ ​do​ ​many​ ​things​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​the​ ​best-quality​ ​items​ ​and printing​ ​quality,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​fast​ ​delivery​ ​times​ ​for​ ​our​ ​customers.​ ​Our​ ​system automatically​ ​sends​ ​each​ ​individual​ ​order​ ​to​ ​the​ ​customer’s​ ​nearest​ ​printing​ ​facility​ ​for faster​ ​delivery,​ ​while​ ​the​ ​system​ ​works​ ​out​ ​VAT​ ​and​ ​non-VAT​ ​costs​ ​before​ ​passing​ ​all extra​ ​profits​ ​to​ ​the​ ​seller.

FinSMEs: Can you introduce your co-founders and teammates?
Mathijs: Absolutely,​ ​so​ ​in​ ​the​ ​founding​ ​team​ ​we​ ​have​ ​our​ ​CMO​ ​Olivier​ ​Stapylton-Smith and​ ​CTO​ ​Lev​ ​Kundin,​ ​both​ ​having​ ​considerable​ ​experience​ ​in​ ​their​ ​fields.​ ​Lev​ ​worked​ ​in the​ ​tech​ ​team​ ​of​ ​Bloomberg​ ​for​ ​many​ ​years​ ​while​ ​Olivier​ ​has​ ​started​ ​(and​ ​exited)​ ​a successful​ ​financial​ ​startup.
Other​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​team​ ​include​ ​those​ ​previous​ ​experience​ ​at​ ​notable​ ​businesses including​ ​Facebook,​ ​Deliveroo,​ ​Yelp​ ​and​ ​Treatwell​ ​and,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​marketing​ ​and sales,​ ​we​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​the​ ​team​ ​considerably​ ​in​ ​the​ ​next​ ​12​ ​months.

FinSMEs: You just raised your seed funding round. How do you plan to use the funds?
Mathijs: With​ ​the​ ​recent​ ​release​ ​of​ ​the​ ​new​ ​platform,​ ​we​ ​aim​ ​to​ ​use​ ​the​ ​funds​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​all areas​ ​of​ ​the​ ​business!​ ​Internally,​ ​we’ll​ ​be​ ​adding​ ​great​ ​members​ ​of​ ​staff​ ​in​ ​our​ ​London and​ ​Lisbon​ ​offices​ ​to​ ​help​ ​grow​ ​and​ ​build​ ​the​ ​next​ ​big​ ​developments​ ​here​ ​at​ ​Moteefe.​ ​It’s going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​very​ ​busy​ ​12​ ​months​ ​here…

FinSMEs: What can you tell us about the investors? Are they supportive? How?
Mathijs: Absolutely,​ ​they’re​ ​not​ ​only​ ​investors​ ​but​ ​great​ ​mentors​ ​and​ ​have​ ​helped​ ​shape the​ ​business​ ​in​ ​many​ ​ways.​ ​For​ ​us,​ ​having​ ​the​ ​right​ ​investors​ ​is​ ​key​ ​to​ ​growing​ ​a successful​ ​business​ ​-​ ​they​ ​need​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​our​ ​challenges​ ​and,​ ​ideally,​ ​experienced similar​ ​themselves​ ​and​ ​can​ ​best​ ​advise​ ​on​ ​the​ ​next​ ​steps.​ ​Having​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​VC​ ​and Angel​ ​investors​ ​really​ ​helps​ ​in​ ​this​ ​crucial​ ​time​ ​of​ ​growth​ ​-​ ​we​ ​have​ ​a​ ​whole​ ​range​ ​of great​ ​minds​ ​with​ ​great​ ​experience.

FinSMEs: What are Moteefe’s near and medium term future plans?
Mathijs: The​ ​next​ ​12-18​ ​months​ ​are​ ​crucial​ ​for​ ​the​ ​growth​ ​of​ ​our​ ​platform.​ ​Our​ ​aim​ ​is​ ​to develop​ ​the​ ​notion​ ​of​ ​social​ ​commerce​ ​with​ ​a​ ​full​ ​knowledge​ ​base​ ​and​ ​additional​ ​content coming,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​creating​ ​key​ ​technical​ ​developments​ ​on​ ​the​ ​platform​ ​to​ ​help entrepreneurs​ ​win​ ​big.​ ​We’re​ ​adding​ ​many​ ​more​ ​products​ ​in​ ​Q4​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​looking​ ​into various​ ​areas​ ​of​ ​growth​ ​in​ ​2018.​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​say​ ​too​ ​much​ ​more,​ ​but​ ​it’s​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​very exciting!



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