Monthly Archives: December 2014

An entrepreneur’s persistence

We invested in second hand female clothing marketplace Modacruz in July 2014. Modacruz gives women the opportunity to sell the clothes that they no longer wear and the chance to buy high quality clothing at a significant discount.

I still remember when Modacruz’s founder Melis Guctas first reached out to me through a cold call email in November 2013. We had looked at several second hand item vertical marketplaces in the past and I had a strong bias against the clothing vertical. I thought that there wouldn’t be enough women in Turkey ready to wear used clothes, and even if there were it would be very difficult to reach positive unit economics given the discounted prices from which Modacruz would be taking a commission.

I therefore initially passed on meeting with the Modacruz team. Fortunately for us, Melis was persistent. She followed up in May 2014, mentioning a mutual friend who I respect in her email, and this led me to accept the meeting.

Melis’ passion for what she’s doing was clear from the first moments of our meeting. Although she was working full time at Amadeus, an IT firm serving the travel sector, when we first met, and she didn’t know how to code, she had convinced two of her developer friends from Amadeus, Onur Selamet and Unal Kurt, to build the web version of Modacruz. The initial traction which the company had when we first met was an important factor in our investment decision.

Following our investment in July, the company has shown successive monthly net commission revenue growth of 50%, 75%, 115%, and 125%, all while maintaining positive unit economics. The October launch of Modacruz’s mobile app, available on iOS and Android, produced a step change increase in the company’s performance. With the launch of the mobile apps, it’s now much easier for users to upload pictures of their clothing items onto the platform using their smartphone’s camera. Users can also make purchases directly from their smartphones.

I believe that the best is yet to come for Modacruz. But I will always remember that we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take part in this journey if it weren’t for Melis’ persistence. I hope to meet many more entrepreneurs like her in the future.