The Italian footwear industry is well-known in the fashion world. It is one of the most popular markets for genuine and quality products. Three years ago, Dropout, a retailer, entered the scene and gained popularity quickly for its innovativeness.
Dropout is a Milan-based business that specializes in the sale of authentic limited-edition sneakers and streetwear. Launched in 2018, Dropout caters to both walk-in and e-commerce customers. It has a highly trafficked flagship store in the center of Milan that has seen 5,000+ visitors from all over the world walk through its doors. The e-commerce store boasts millions of visits and thousands of sales.
The business is the brainchild of Kola Tytler, a 27-year-old medical doctor, and entrepreneur. Kola splits his time between his work at the NHS and the Dropout where he acts as the CEO. He is also an MBA student at the University of Birmingham where he is completing his studies. Kola works with a team of other young people who’ve helped make the company what it is today.
Breaking through in a competitive space like the footwear industry in Italy is not easy. However, Kola and his team have managed that spectacularly. Besides being accessible both as a brick-and-mortar business and ecommerce store, they cite two other factors; software and crowdfunding.
The management team at Dropout developed special software called HypeAnalyzer that helps support the company’s business activities. HypeAnalyzer does the technical analysis for the secondary streetwear market. The pricing and marketing of the products are automated and data-driven by the HypeAnalyzer algorithms.
The program also keeps track of the consignment rates and the discounts offered. Both the team and customers can keep track of the products the retailer has in stock and their payments. The program also monitors the demand and volatility of different sneakers in the market. This helps the team to know which products are likely to be in high demand and make sure they are in stock.
In the coming days, the team plans to scale this simple yet efficient program for other things in both the retail and ecommerce spaces. They are currently studying the creation of a portal for investment in sneakers as alternative assets. The HypeAnalyzer model is covered by a commercial patent in Italy.
Kola and his team didn’t use any external funding when they initially got into the business. Although that has worked well for them over the past three years, they recently let the public in on their expansion plans. The company launched its first funding round in October 2021 via equity crowdfunding.
The crowdfunding raised €750k in a record 6 days. The campaign was initially scheduled to run for 62 days to raise 500k, but the target amount was raised in only 4 days.
The funds collected will go towards the opening of a new Dropout retail store and several temporary locations throughout Italy. The funds will also help in the improvement of the Dropout ecommerce store and further development of the HypeAnalyzer software. Dropout is committed to providing quality products and service to its global clientele.
Published December 15th, 2021