Former Head of Marketplace at GFG
The executive is the Former Head of Marketplace for Global Fashion Group (GFG) Brazil, where he was responsible for merging the Dafifi, Kanui, and Tricae brands together. Prior to joining GFG, he was the owner of an ecommerce business that was acquired by Kanui before being merged into GFG. He also spent over 2 years scaling Amazon's Brazil business.Read moreView Profile Page
Disclaimer: This interview is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. In Practise is an independent publisher and all opinions expressed by guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of In Practise.
Can you share some context to what you were up to before you joined GFG and how you ended up working at Dafiti?
Right before I joined Dafiti, it was Kanui. I had my owned business, so I opened a brick-and-mortar store, as well as having my online business. I used to sell sporting goods and sporting clothes and shoes. That was what I did, just before joining Kanui, which was a startup in sporting goods and sport lifestyle. Before that, I worked for a bank, and I graduated in electrical engineering, so I did some different things, before moving into retail.
What was the rationale for Dafiti purchasing Kanui and the other businesses, rather than rolling out their own assortment in those categories?
At that time, in 2014, Dafiti, Tricae and Kanui had the same investors, who were Rocket Internet from Germany and Kinnevik from Sweden, but they were working on different assortments and different strategies, in terms of clients and products. Also, the biggest part of the deal was related to the people asset. There were a lot of brilliant people in all three of the companies, so the idea was to do the merger and then to build something much stronger and bigger, in all aspects.
Do those businesses – Kanui and Tricae – still run standalone ecommerce businesses, as well as being on GFG or Dafiti?
GFG, the Global Fashion Group, was formed after the merger, from all the different Rocket-backed companies and startups around the world. Before that, they were all standalone. Dafiti was one thing; Tricae was a different thing and Kanui something else. They were all independent.
Could I go on kanui.com now?
They still run their standalone ecommerce?
From the customer perspective, it’s something separate but, behind the scenes, it’s the same thing, the same platform, the same management. In terms of assortment, you’re going to be seeing the same products and prices on all of the websites.
What is your view on acquiring those businesses? Did you think it made sense to pay up and buy Kanui, rather than just let them sell via Dafiti?
As I said, you had people assets; people who could add some value to the deal. At that time, Kanui was doing a fantastic job. They were the first website, in Brazil – and maybe the fifth or tenth in the world – to achieve breakeven, in terms of their financial statement. There were a lot of challenges where Kanui could add some value, internally, after joining the group. The same thing applied to Tricae. You had a lot of people could add some value there, in terms of approaching the market and customer experiences.
The idea was to not only bring assortment but also expertise, in the form of knowledge and people. Besides that, there was a merge between the same investors, so it was easier. It only involved changing some stock options.
Kanui and Tricae were actually some of the best vertical or standalone ecommerce businesses in Brazil, it seems?
I would say yes, for this niche of fashion and sports. Especially for fashion, which is the main part of GFG.
How were brands approaching online, in 2014?
At that time, I didn’t see much difference between what they were already doing with other brick and mortar clients that they had. The difference was that they were a little afraid of what this online monster was, in terms of depreciating prices and products. In the beginning, the internet was very price driven, so they were afraid they were going to do a lot of promotions and that their value would be destroyed, in terms of brands.
After a while, they got used to it and they understood the value of having a website and bringing in more people. Brazil is huge, so it created more market as opposed to destroying something in terms of price competition and so on.