Shop Like You Give a Damn – The world’s largest ethical marketplace

From the left: Kim van Langelaar (COO & co-founder), Stephan Stegeman (CEO & co-founder) and Alex Jansen (CTO & co-founder). The photo has been made by Cindy Stegeman.

Every week we feature a new startup at Fundsup that forces a radical breakthrough. This time we chat with Stephan Stegeman, co-founder & CEO of Shop Like You Give a Damn.

Stephan, what exactly are you doing? 

We are the world’s largest vegan marketplace that verifies and aggregates fair and sustainable brands in fashion, cosmetics and homeware.

Where do you see the main application of your solution?

As we strive to become and stay the number one global marketplace, we hope to see Shop Like You Give a Damn everywhere in the world. At the moment our 3 biggest markets are The Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom, but we sell in the rest of the European countries and the USA too.

What is the impact of your business?

We are an impact business at its core. We base all our choices on our five main values: 

1. Vegan.
2. Fair.
3. Sustainable.
4. Inclusive.
5. Social.

We’ve built an ethical framework around our five values, consisting of 32 criteria we use to verify the claims of brands we consider onboarding as a seller. This means we only onboard sellers who at least meet our minimum criteria, and prioritize those who work hard in meeting most. Together with our verification partner, we’ve created a marketplace where our customers can trust to find items for which no people, animals or environment has been unnecessarily harmed.

As we like to say: we have an ethical compass and sail a commercial course.

Where do you stand right now?

We now offer over 13.000 products by 350+ brands and help thousands of customers find what they are looking for. We have created a strong team of mission-aligned powerhouses that strive to make it easier for everyone to make a better choice. And we are ready to take our European adventure global.

How long have you been on the market?

The idea sprouted in Berlin during a cup of coffee on the 1st of April in 2017. We first launched as an affiliate platform on the 31st of July 2018 but quickly discovered that a marketplace would better facilitate our goals. We pivoted and relaunched Shop Like You Give a Damn on the 17th of April 2019. We’ve been online as a marketplace for a little over two years.

We have an ethical compass and sail a commercial course.

Who has invested in you and what kind of investors are you looking for?

Over the course of three small rounds, we found nine mission-aligned investors (organised in a StAK, which means they form one line on the cap table) who have helped us grow into the company we are now. Our current investors come from all walks of life. Some are friends & family, some made their money with crypto, others built a big BI consultancy firm and some have serious marketing backgrounds. Most sold or still run their own business.

As we believe that one can’t change the world alone, but that the world can be changed by many, we prefer investors who like to help out in any way they can. Together we’ll create the change we wish to see in this world. That’s why we love to work with investors who want to join the ride and help Shop Like You Give a Damn become a global marketplace phenomenon.

What would be the ideal investor match?

We have 28% left in our current round. We are looking for one or two investors who can help us grow our business internationally. We would consider ourselves lucky if we could join forces with an investor who, for example, has experience with marketplaces, levering network effects, financially managing a business with growing transaction numbers, the fashion industry or successfully crafting a brand that sticks and stands out.

Best of luck with everything!

Thanks, check out our pitch deck in the Fundsup app:

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