Together with my co-founder, we finalized the transaction of selling our start-up to another entity. It’s not a classical exit and we can’t spend the rest of our lives sipping Pina Coladas in the Bahamas, unfortunately. There was a lot on our plates so we decided to sell KDB.market (Kidibee). I can speak for myself, there are family, regular job, FixMix, and KDB.market. And I had to make a choice to drop one of them. There were many factors why KDB.market was the one and I don’t want to go too deep in that direction. It was a great journey and I’d like to share with you some insights. But before that, let me introduce you to the concept of KDB.market (previously known as Kidibee). Please have a look at the Pitch Deck below.
At the moment kids’ apparel that is outgrown by a child (sometimes in a very good condition) is usually thrown away. Some of the clothes are given to friends and families but largely in a very random and uncontrolled way (it is extremely hard to match the size and type of clothes not to mention parents’ and kids’ taste). Only a very limited amount of textiles is re-sold (usually via second-hand shops) or reused. According to leading textile recycling companies, only a small portion of textiles is reused at the moment. The rest lands on landfill sites.
At the same time, the whole fashion sector is extremely important in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The so-called “extended supply chains” and energy-intensive production mean that the clothing sector is responsible for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions! Although it is hard to believe, the fashion industry consumes more energy than the aviation sector and maritime transport combined!
Living costs increase rapidly when the child is born in the family. New spendings are required in many areas including clothes which need to be replaced frequently, especially during the first few years of life, because the baby is growing very fast.
Our aim was to build a community of responsible prosumers, actively supporting each other to meet their needs in terms of all types of stuff for children using our marketplace – Kidibee.club.
Our idea was to build a platform for the resale of all types of stuff for children: 1-st step: clothes, books, toys; 2-nd step: furniture, finishing interior, strollers, scooters, bikes, etc.
By doing so we were going to support waste reduction (e.g. clothing sector is responsible for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions) and reduce costs related to having children.
We wanted to build a marketplace strictly dedicated to the niche of the kids’ products. Contrary to the standard e-commerce websites, our main stakeholder (a child) is very dynamic over time, especially with clothes sizes and demands (toys, books etc.). They grow very fast, so through research and interviews we enumerated basic functionalities:
- Dynamic kid profile
It should predict the child’s growth and recommend next best items to buy for near and far future, so parents can plan their spendings and save money on children’ items.
- Package deals
Parents don’t have time to deal with selling single items. Especially with kids younger than 1yo, where the lifetime of a clothing is no longer than a month due to the rapid growth of a child. It’s too time consuming. Parents want to “get rid of stuff”.
When one start being a parent they usually fall out of social circles for some time. They feel urge to socialize again, especially with people they can relate their issues and challenges with. So organising social gathering among parents like clothes swap parties would be very desirable.
How did we come into these insights? Please have a look at our research summary (in Polish)
Did we build the app, initially? Nope! We started by building a community and our first prototype was a FB page and a FB group focused on selling/swapping clothes. Then we experimented with various ideas.
Mobile app – Kidibee.club
We built an Adobe XD mobile app prototype with onboarding, selling/buying, and community functionalities which helped us with IDIs and user testing.
Chatbot – Kidibee Bazaar
Then we experimented with a chatbot that was doomed to fail. It was even painful for us to test the full prepurchase path. Finally, we came to the conclusion that it’s only good for Customer Service automation purposes or F.A.Q. type functionalities
Marketplace SaaS – KDB.MARKET
Finally, we launched our service at ShareTribe.com. It has all of the basic functionalities we wanted and no-code Stripe integration to process payments but all-in-all the basic license didn’t allow for much customization and the mobile experience wasn’t up to current standards. Moreover, the subscription fee was relatively high and was eating a significant part of our margin.
It was a great experience discovering various avenues. We learned a lot and I consider it a very interesting time. I believe that trading the kids’ clothes packages still remains unsolved and despite the fact that players like Vinted or Zalando Pre-owned are out there on the market, they haven’t addressed this issue properly, especially for parents having kids under 1-year-old. And the one who does it will make their solution successful across parents.
I’d like to thank the people who supported me throughout this enriching journey. Firstly, my wife – who encouraged me to deep dive into that subject, gave continuous support and priceless insights, secondly: my co-founder Janusz, thirdly: Annika Blome who believed in that vision and helped us with getting international, and finally tens of mothers and fathers who agreed to spend their precious time answering our questions during in-depth interviews, all of the business coaches and various conference attendees who were very honest and sometimes ruthless with their feedback :)