Otrium is the online fashion marketplace for outlet fashion: they sell premium brands such as G-Star, Reiss and Scotch & Soda with discounts that can’t be found anywhere else. Milan Daniels and Max Klijnstra founded Otrium in 2015 to stir up the fashion industry: they wanted to challenge the industry’s problem of excess inventory.
Otrium was launched at an ideal time: not only was the world ready for this kind of sustainable marketplace proposition, COVID-19 also came along, speeding up e-commerce adoption. In 2021, the company was awarded with Deloitte’s Fast50 award as the fastest growing technology company in the Netherlands.
The challenge: keeping up with lightning speed growth
Otrium grew miraculously fast. Founded in the Netherlands, they quickly expanded to the UK, Germany, France and the United States. As Otrium became bigger and bigger, the existing team was unable to manage everything based on informal structures. On top of that, Otrium was struggling to keep up the hiring pace to achieve their growth ambitions.
After receiving €24 million in the Series B fundraising, Head of Commercial Strategy Thijs Algra asked Thijmen Kaster to join to set up the sales operations function.
The outcome: professionalized sales, VC fundraising and investor reporting
Initially, Thijmen joined Otrium as interim manager to structure sales processes. So in his first three months, he professionalized the CRM-system, implemented processes to measure how the sales team was performing, built a dashboard to see results and created a new compensation model for the sales representatives.
Next to that, he supported in the €100 million Series C funding round (the largest fundraising round in The Netherlands so far) and led the preparation of the quarterly investor reporting meetings. On top of that, Thijmen led Black Friday as strategic project manager and later became interim country manager for Germany.
How working for Otrium led to starting Sweav
When Otrium’s new VP of growth Sakshi Anand was hired, Thijmen started looking in his own network for more independent project managers who could strengthen the growth team. As in turned out, like-minded interim managers were very keen to join Otrium as well.
Nout Knabben (ex Strategy&) joined as interim manager for the B2B Marketplace and Marieke Berendsen (ex SparkOptimus) joined as all-round project manager for the growth team.
This led to the idea of Sweav: connecting freelance top consultants with ambitious, fast-growing companies such as Otrium. Partly due to Otrium’s confidence, two years later they built a community of more than 150 independent strategy and M&A consultants.
Sweav can help scale-ups, such as Otrium in their lightning speed growth. Are you a fast-growing, ambitious company and are you looking for smart, independent consultants that can help you support your growth? Find out how we can help you.