HeBAN is happy to announce that several of its Angel Investors have successfully been engaged in the closing of a second funding round of Swaplanet, the first kids’ clothing swapping platform in Greece.
The fundraising comes only 12 months after their seed capital round, bringing the total capital raised to date to over €500K.
The funding round was co-led by investors Zeno Capital and Genesis Ventures, with the participation of angel investors from Greece via Hellenic Business Angels Network, and others from the UK and Egypt. The capital will be used to scale up operations, accelerate user growth, and introduce more sophisticated technology. The round included a successful and profitable exit of Swaplanet’s pre-seed investor, Demium’s Partner Fund (Spain). Saplegal – A.S. Papadimitriou & Partners acted as legal advisor for the transaction. Participating investors bring a strong mix of experience in Greece and abroad, and several will act as advisors, assisting us in go-to-market development, operations scale-up, and preparation to expand to other European countries.
Swaplanet was founded in April 2021 by Sherif Barakat, Helena Stamou, and Jimmy Nicolaides, and launched in summer 2021. In this period, they have rapidly grown their client base to more than 3,500 users and growing every day. They have grown from initially serving Athens, to all Greece (even the most remote islands). The team has grown to eight employees and has received and sorted more than 30,000 articles of clothing from parents and has uploaded more than 14,000 clothes to their platform for swapping.
The textile industry is the second-biggest polluter in the world, responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions (compared to 6% for plastics) and 20% of global wastewater. The numbers hit home when you realise that one simple T-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water. The growth of fast fashion has only made things worse. Swaplanet is actively tackling this problem by encouraging more swapping and less shopping, while helping families to reduce their spending on kids’ clothing by as much as 90%. All clothes are individually sorted and washed by Swaplanet, to ensure every item is in excellent condition. By giving new lives to pre-loved clothes, we all can reduce CO2 emissions and water waste, reduce resource extraction, and reduce landfill waste, helping nature to recuperate from years of human abuse.
With Swaplanet’s intuitive platform, users create an account, earn credit by sending their pre-loved clothes and use their credit to order the next set of clothes for their kids (“who grow so fast”). The clothes that do not pass the strict quality control checks are donated to partner charities such as Fabric Republic and Khora Athens, while 2% of annual income is donated to we4All charity for reforestation and environmental education for children.
“Swaplanet is a win-win solution for parents, kids, charities and our planet, and it’s designed by parents, for parents” says Sherif Barakat, the CEO and co-founder, a father of two kids (4 years old and 1 year old). “We are excited to have received great customer feedback since launch, validating our vision and the need for such a solution. We want more parents to learn about how we can change their buying habits and we’re pleased to have the backing of leading investors and industry greats to take Swaplanet to more families.”
Mr. Dimitris Georgakopoulos, Partner at Zeno Capital, stated: “We are thrilled to co-lead this funding round of Swaplanet, the topmost children clothes swapping platform in Greece. The founding team of Swaplanet has already delivered impressive and very promising results. We were amazed by the user friendliness of the platform, the exceptional quality of the products and foremost by the positive impact it creates by reducing emissions and waste. Swaplanet is well-positioned to achieve substantial growth in the second-hand ecommerce sector”
Stergios Anastasiadis, Partner at Genesis Ventures, says “The Swaplanet team is one of the most hard-working and “hungry” driven teams we have seen to date. Helena, Sherif, and Jimmy are not only focused on solving a hard problem but understand that end user experiences need to be great, so they re-worked all 7 experiences within 3 months and improved at the same time their unit economics by 30%. This data driven approach will set them up nicely for geo expansion as well.”
Mr. Dimitris Tsingos, co-founder of the Hellenic Business Angels Network (HeBAN) added: we are overly excited that Swaplanet is one of the first investments that our group arranges for its members. At HeBAN we are looking for strong and motivated teams with a scalable product in a growing market and we feel that Swaplanet has the potential to efficiently service society’s needs for sustainable clothing. We are looking forward to supporting the company in its plans together with its strong and diverse group of co-investors. For this investment, HeBAN’s members were also joined by the founder of a leading healthcare US start-up, as well as by one of the pioneers of angel investing.