Meet Nitex: revolutionising SME apparel production

Startup Spotlights
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What is NITEX?

NITEX is a one-stop shop for small to medium fashion brands across the EU and North America to have an end-to-end apparel outsourcing solution. We cost-effectively provide product design, manufacturing, quality assurance and shipping management services to the brands so that they can have the same supply chain as large fashion houses, for less, eliminating quality or delay risk. Through our platform, brands can manage every aspect of the production, monitor progress and assure quality remotely.

Why this solution?

Over the next three years, a large fraction of the apparel revenue, an estimated half a trillion dollars worth, will move from big retailers to small to medium-sized brands, e-commerce, social media influencers, and individual entrepreneurs. We work with our SME clients to enable them with a scalable and seamless value chain of apparel products from China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

The apparel industry in Bangladesh accounts for more than 80% of her export value, amounting to $38B per year. As big as the industry is, it’s got many problems that were still unsolved. You would always hear negative comments in the news from international brands regarding Bangladeshi Apparel Industry. Unfortunately, we never heard of any company or startup addressing those problems to solve them. So, we realised the potential and thought of starting our own to solve the major problems that brands were facing while working with Bangladeshi factories or suppliers. From there, NITEX came into being.

What makes NITEX platform unique?

Platforms like Alibaba or Zilingo are match-makers and work as marketplaces. So consumer-facing SME fashion brands still have to source, assess and take their own responsibility. But they don’t have the resources to do so.

NITEX provides the end-to-end solution, opening up immediate & transparent access to the complete value chain of design to manufacturing to shipping until goods reach their warehouse. So the brands don’t have to spend months of planning, assessment and travel cost to establish & the chain.

How does NITEX support remote clients and make their life easier?

In a typical scenario, a buyer has to travel long distances for an even longer time and spend thousands of dollars on sourcing, quality assurance and shipping management. In spite of all of these, they remain anxious all the time as there is no scalable solution to monitor the production and assure quality remotely.

Because of NITEX, sourcing apparel from overseas has been the easiest job for a remote client. How? We offer on the ground services which means clients don’t have to travel to sourcing countries, and assess or manage suppliers by themselves. Second, clients can watch and monitor every aspect of the production in real-time through the platform, with ultimate transparency. Third, they are saving time and money in sourcing & design processes by working with us.

Main focus at the moment

We are currently raising US$500k and have already secured a portion. At this stage, we are looking for qualifying angel investors and partners who believe in what we do and understand the market potential that we are tapping into.

With the fresh capital investment, for the first time, we are internationalising our operation and are partnering up with local agents in the EU, North-America, and Japan to accelerate closing deals much faster.

In this time of Covid-19 situation, brands from 174 countries of the world, especially e-commerce platforms and micro-entrepreneurs are not able to travel to Bangladesh or China. While working with us, they don’t have to travel or even worry about it. We provide real-time monitoring, visibility, and delivery of goods aligned with the brands to ensure a full-service outsourcing. We are assisting brands and businesses to source any products including PPE, surgical mask and medical equipment.

What are your future plans?

Our growth is built around customer needs and there are two of them.

One, product (garments). SMEs get onboard immediately when offered with trendy product designs for their future sales. We are scaling this service with an in-house design studio, partnering up with fashion designers across the globe and a pool of proven manufacturers in Bangladesh.

Two, technology. Our second version of the Platform is coming with an end-to-end value chain for the brands. They can cost-effectively manage every aspect of the value chain through our platform. It’s more than just a marketplace!

Who is the team behind NITEX?

I (Mahdi) have been building software for the past 7 years and Arifin (my co-founder) is experienced with the Apparel industry for the last 8 years. We have been friends since high school and NITEX is not our 1st venture together.

We started our first organisation together back in 2012. That was the beginning of my journey to entrepreneurship. My Co-Founder, Arifin started his first in 2006 and his experiences with strategy development and running operations were an integral part of the businesses that we built together.

Though we started doing our own research on Fashion brands and buyers from 2015, we officially launched NITEX in 2017 and started serving customers from the EU and North America.

Today we are a 20 people team consisting of engineers, designers, and apparel industry professionals. We have got several people with 15+ years of experience in the industry and we are making the difference using technology and experience.

Why did NITEX decide to join Accelerating Asia and what has been the experience?

We’ve been wanting to come to Singapore for some time, since we planned to raise funds and also run our company HQ from here. When we heard about Accelerating Asia and talked about the program with the alumni, it did not take us much thinking to apply for cohort 2.

Our motivation was that we would learn what it takes to fundraise, build our network with around Angels and institutional investors, and raise our Seed fund.

We came to realise the significance of the program only after we met with the Entrepreneurs in Residence and attended sessions. We learned what we did not know, then learned what we had to know and then could see the clear difference in us.

If I have to pick the best thing about the program, that would be the Accelerating Asia team. They are such an inspiring bunch of people. The second best thing is the fellow founders of the cohort.

Reach out to us to connect with NITEX or talk to us about investing alongside us in our portfolio companies.

Accelerating Asia is now scouting the best pre-Series A startups from across the region, apply now to join Cohort 3.

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