Connect with us

International

Fashinza, a B2B supply chain marketplace for fashion brands, raises $100M

The pandemic has majorly affected the global supply chain, with 60% of U.S. adults in an August 2021 Gallup survey saying that they’ve been unable to…

Published

on

The pandemic has majorly affected the global supply chain, with 60% of U.S. adults in an August 2021 Gallup survey saying that they’ve been unable to get a product they wanted in the past two months because of shortages. Bearing the brunt of the impact is the fashion industry, which employs millions of workers at retail stores, suppliers, and manufacturing factories around the world. Bangladesh, one of the largest exporters of ready-made garments, saw export earnings plunge from $34.13 billion in 2018 to under $28 billion in 2020 as Western brands wrestled with pandemic-related border restrictions.

Fashinza, a Dehli, India-based supply chain “marketplace” for fashion brands and retailers, was co-founded months before the disruptions. But CEO Pawan Gupta says that the platform was designed to handle exactly these types of supply chain challenges by providing access to fulfillment options that wouldn’t normally be available to international companies.

“While exploring [the] business-to-consumer fashion ecommerce [industry], we were shocked by the serpentine supply chains,” Gupta, who co-launched Fashinza with Abhishek Sharma and Jamil Ahmad, told TechCrunch via email. “Even though brands were marking up their retail price at 75% to 80% margins, they were still making only around 8% to 10% profits and losing money due to high inventory wastage or going out of stock. [They] struggled with … opacity due to multiple middlemen and their manufacturers being thousands of miles away.”

Gupta describes Fashinza’s product as “design to delivery” in the sense that it lets brands not only find manufacturers and place bulk orders, but analyze trending designs in fashion. Customers can also use Fashinza to track time and action calendars, a tool used in the apparel industry to follow up on manufacturing milestones to ensure timely delivery. 

Fashinza’s B2B supply chain marketplace.

On the production side, Fashinza partners with factories to run its software stack, dubbed FactoryOS, for tasks in sampling, inventory, and finance. The software tracks the lifecycles of garments and uses the data to train algorithms for matching brands with suppliers, Gupta said, and predicting metrics like turnaround time.

In an endorsement of Fashinza’s approach to supply chain management, the company today announced that it raised $100 million in Series B funding ($60 million in equity and $40 million in debt) co-led by Prosus Ventures and Westbridge with participation from Accel, Elevation, and ADQ at a $300 billion valuation. The round brings Fashinza’s total raised to $135 million, which Gupta says is being used to refine the company’s supply chain technology and expand into new markets, including raw materials procurement.

Business-to-business marketplaces are here to stay. We can’t imagine a world where, even in 2030, brands would need to make 100 calls, send 200 emails, and wait for six months for [a] bulk order,” Gupta said. “The entire experience is broken and doesn’t work in this fast-paced world. But the solutions … need to be vertical and very customized to … industries.”

An expanding market

Prior to starting Fashinza, Gupta co-founded Curofy, a social networking app for doctors, while Sharma previously helped to found ecommerce retailer OfferBean. Together with Ahmad, they launched Fashinza in 2020, which now employs workforce of 200 people. Gupta expects headcount to expand to 250 by the end of the year. 

Fashinza makes money by charging suppliers a “usage-based” fee on every order and by providing value-added services like logistics, fintech, and business-to-business payments to both brands and manufacturers. Gupta asserts that Fashinza is able to achieve cost savings by improving the unit economics on the supply side, leveraging “unutilized capacity” and “improving production efficiency” through tech and data.

Certainly, Fashinza has no shortage of competition in a supply chain management market that Statista predicts could be worth $30.91 billion by 2026, up from $19.58 billion in 2022. Shipium gives ecommerce retailers Amazon-like supply chain tech, while ShelfLife offers a marketplace of raw material suppliers based on what brands actually need. There’s also sustainable sourcing platforms like Sourceful, which slot somewhere alongside supply chain finance platforms including Tradeshift

Gupta argues that Fashinza’s focus on the fashion industry sufficiently differentiates it, pointing to the customer uptake so far. He claims that over 200 brands and 150 factories are currently using the platform, concentrated mostly in India, Bangladesh, China, the U.S., the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

Historically, the challenge has been convincing fashion and apparel brands to adopt technologies to modernize legacy processes, including sourcing. For example, a 2020 McKinsey study found that while 74% of brands anticipate the digitization of product development and sourcing will accelerate, only 20% plan to make technology for country and supplier selection a common practice.

But Gupta believes that Fashinza has the stuff — and the financing — to succeed. Indeed, the startup stands to benefit from the continued investment boom in the supply chain management market, which saw a $11.3 billion injection from venture firms last year. 

“The solution brought about by Fashinza is essentially tech-driven, which sets us apart from our competitors. Imagine the disruptions brought about by Uber and Amazon in their respective industries. Fashinza is doing something similar in the business-to-business apparel manufacturing sector,” Gupta said. “End-to-end production can be managed through Fashinza’s platform with … transparency and control — with no need for sourcing managers to leave their offices, no need to depend on multiple middlemen, and no scope for unannounced delays.”

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

Cruise Line Drops Pre-Cruise Covid Testing Rule

The major cruise lines walk a delicate line. They need to take the actual steps required to keep their passengers safe and they also need to be aware of…

Published

on

The major cruise lines walk a delicate line. They need to take the actual steps required to keep their passengers safe and they also need to be aware of how things look to the outside public. It's a mix of practical covid policy balanced with covid theater.

You have to do the right thing -- and Royal Caribbean International (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report have been doing that with very meticulous protocols-- but you also have to show the general public you're taking the pandemic seriously. The cruise industry has been under the microscope of both public perception and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) since covid first appeared.

That's not because you're likely to get infected on a cruise ship than at a concert, sporting event, theme park, restaurant, or any other crowded space. It's because when you get sick at one of those locations nobody can pinpoint the source of your infection

Cruises last from 3 days to 7 days or even longer and that means that some people will get covid onboard and that will be blamed on the cruise industry. To mitigate that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian have rigid protocols in place that require passengers 12 and over to be vaccinated as well as pre-cruise covid tests taken no more than two days before your cruise leaves.

Once cruise line has dropped that testing requirement (at least on a few sailings) and that could lead Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian to follow. 

Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty

Holland America Drops Some Covid Testing

As the largest cruise lines sailing from the U.S., Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian don't want to be the first to make major covid policy changes. They acted more or less in tandem when it came to loosening, then dropping mask rules and have generally followed the lead of the CDC, even when that agency's rules became optional.

Now, Holland America cruise line has dropped pre-cruise covid testing on a handful of cruises. It's a minor move, but it does provide cover and precedent for Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian to eventually do the same.

"Holland America Line becomes the first US-based cruise line to remove testing for select cruises. Unfortunately for those taking a cruise from the United States, the new protocols are only in place for certain cruises onboard the company’s latest ship, the Rotterdam, in Europe," Cruisehive reported.

The current CDC guidelines do recommend pre-cruise testing, but the cruise lines into following those rules. By picking cruises sailing out of Europe, Holland America avoids picking a fight with the federal agency just yet, but it will be able to gather data as to whether the pre-cruise testing actually helps.

Holland America has not changed its vaccination requirements for those cruises which mirror the 12-and-up rule used by Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian.

Some guests have called for the end of the testing requirement because they believe it's more theater than precaution because people can test and then contract covid while traveling to their cruise.

The Current Cruise Protocols Work

Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley does expect changes to come in his cruise line's covid protocols, and he talked about them during Royal Caribbean's recent President's Cruise, the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.

"I think pre cruise testing is going to be around for another couple of months," Bayley told passengers during a question and answer session. "We obviously want it to go back to normal, but we're incredibly cognizant of our responsibilities to keep our crew, the communities and our guests safe."

People do still get covid onboard despite the crew being 100% vaccinated and all passengers 12 and over being vaccinated, but the protocols have worked well when it comes to preventing serious illness.

Bayley said that the CDC shared some information with him in a call.

"The cruise industry sailing out of the US ports over the past 12 months and how many people have been hospitalized with Covid and how many deaths occurred from Covid from people who'd sailed on the industry's ships, which is in the millions," he said, "And the number of people who died from COVID who'd sailed on ships over the past year was two."

That success may be why the major cruise lines are reluctant to make changes. The current rules, even if they're partially for show, have been incredibly effective.

"Two is terrible. But but but against the context of everything we've seen, that's it's truly been a remarkable success." he added.

Read More

Continue Reading

International

Tesla Rivals Challenge Its Lead as Nio Sets Encouraging Record

Tesla’s rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.

Published

on

Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.

Electric vehicle makers have been struggling over the last two years to produce and deliver cars, trucks and SUVs despite obstacles such as supply chain disruptions, semiconductor shortages and factory shutdowns caused by the covid pandemic.

The industry's leading EV manufacturer Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report on July 2 said that plant closures at its Shanghai gigafactory in April and May and supply chain disruptions led to a smaller number of deliveries than expected in its second quarter ending June 30 with 254,695, which was 26.7% higher than the same period in 2021, but 17.7% lower than its record of 310,048 delivered in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts were originally expecting about 295,000 deliveries.

Tesla's production declined to 258,580 vehicles in the second quarter compared to 305,407 in the first quarter. It had produced 305,840 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader. But they keep trying.

Shutterstock

Tesla Rivals Struggle to Produce and Deliver Volume of EVs

Tesla rival Nio  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. American depositary shares each representing one Class A 蔚来汽车 Report on July 1 said that it had delivered 12,961 vehicles in June for a 60.3% year-over-year increase and its highest number of monthly deliveries ever. The company also reported 25,059 EVs delivered in the three months ending June 2022, increasing by 14.4% year-over-year. Nio has delivered a cumulative 217,897 EVs as of June 30.

NIO on June 15 rolled out its ES7, a new mid-large five-seat smart electric SUV, which is the first SUV product based on NIO's latest technology platform Technology 2.0. NIO also launched the 2022 ES8, ES6 and EC6 equipped with the upgraded digital cockpit domain controller and sensing suite, enhancing the computing and perception capabilities as well as digital experience of the vehicles. The company expects to start deliveries of the ES7 and the ES8, ES6 and EC6 in August.

Chinese EV maker XPeng  (XPEV) - Get XPeng Inc. American depositary shares each representing two Class A 小鹏汽车 Report on July 1 said it delivered 15,295 vehicles in June, a 133% increase year-over-year; 34,422 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 98% increase year-over-year and 68,983 in the first six months of the year for a 124% increase year-over year.

The Guangzhou, China-based company said in August it will begin accepting orders for its new G9 SUV with an official launch in September.

Beijing-based Li Auto  (LI) - Get Li Auto Inc. Report on July 1 said it delivered 13,024 EVs in June, a 68.9% increase year-over-year and 28,687 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 63.2% increase year-over-year. The company on June 21 began taking orders for its Li L9 SUV and recorded 30,000 orders as of June 24, according to a statement. Test drives will begin July 16 with deliveries beginning by the end of August.

GM Follows Behind Tesla and Other Rivals

General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report had 7,300 EV sales in the second quarter, according to a July 1 statement. The Detroit automaker's sales included deliveries of the BrightDrop Zevo 600 delivery van, GMC Hummer EV pickup, and the resumption of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV production.

GM said the Cadillac Lyriq production is accelerating, with initial deliveries in process. Orders for the 2023 model year sold out within hours and preorders for the 2024 model opened on June 22.

The company said it will gradually increase production of the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV Pickup in the second half of 2022. 

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Tesla EV deliveries fall nearly 18% in second quarter following China factory shutdown

Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s…

Published

on

Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s extended COVID-19 lockdown and challenges around opening factories in Berlin and Austin took their toll on the company.

This is the first time in two years that Tesla deliveries, which were 310,048 in the first period this year, have fallen quarter over quarter. Tesla deliveries were up 26.5% from the second quarter last year.

The quarter-over-quarter reduction is in line with a broader supply chain problem in the industry. It also illustrates the importance of Tesla’s Shanghai factory to its business. Tesla shuttered its Shanghai factory multiple times in March due to rising COVID-19 cases that prompted a government shutdown.

Image Credits: Tesla/screenshot

The company said Saturday it produced 258,580 EVs, a 15% reduction from the previous quarter when it made 305,407 vehicles.

Like in other quarters over the past two years, most of the produced and delivered vehicles were Model 3 and Model Ys. Only 16,411 of the produced vehicles were the older Model S and Model X vehicles.

Tesla said in its released that June 2022 was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history. Despite that milestone, the EV maker as well as other companies in the industry, have struggled to keep apace with demand as supply chain problems persist.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending