This week we spoke to Heidrun Sigfusdottir from Catecut - a B2B SaaS solution designed for online fashion retailers to reduce risks associated with their customers' online clothing purchases, fight textile waste and significantly reduce costs for the fashion industry.
The system uses AI to analyze and classify certain core features of clothes such as length, cut, and sleeve detail. This information is compared to details the user inputs about their own physical features and measurements and makes clothing recommendations to the user based on these parameters. Learn more about the company and the entrepreneurial journey below!
Catecut's subscription model enables online fashion retail companies to offer personalized product services based on their customer attributes, optimize their customers' experience, increase conversion and above all, reduce returns.
What made you become an entrepreneur?
Heidrun: My journey into entrepreneurship was fueled by my passion for creating positive change in the world. I've always believed that businesses have a unique opportunity and responsibility to be a force for good, to address social issues and environmental issues. This passion has been a driving force behind every venture I've embarked upon, inspiring me to strive for meaningful, purpose-driven work. I couldn't ignore the pressing need to address climate change, pollution, and resource depletion. This awareness led me to explore innovative ways to mitigate these challenges through entrepreneurship. I wanted to be part of the solution, to create sustainable alternatives and advocate for environmentally conscious practices.
What is the most challenging part of running your own startup?
Heidrun: The most challenging part of running my own startup is undoubtedly the constant ups and downs that come with the territory. While every day brings new opportunities and the potential for significant progress, it also presents a unique set of hurdles to overcome.
Long Working Hours: Running a startup often demands long working hours and an unwavering commitment to the cause. Balancing the needs of the business with personal life can be a constant struggle. The drive to see your vision come to life can sometimes lead to burnout, making it crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Limited Resources, Big Progress: Startups typically operate with limited resources, which means making every dollar count. This constraint can be a double-edged sword, pushing us to be creative and resourceful while constantly seeking growth.
Prioritization: With many tasks and opportunities on the table, prioritization also becomes an ongoing challenge. Deciding where to allocate time, energy, and resources is crucial to staying on course. Often, it involves making tough decisions about what to pursue and what to postpone or discard.
Staying Focused: Amidst the whirlwind of daily tasks, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and the initial goals of the startup. Staying focused on the long-term vision while dealing with the immediate demands of the business requires discipline and a strong sense of purpose.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced when looking for funding?
Heidrun: The biggest challenge we encountered when seeking funding for our startup was the significant time commitment it required. As an entrepreneur, juggling the day-to-day operations of the business, developing our Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and simultaneously seeking investment opportunities was incredibly demanding.
Recognizing the importance of securing the right funding to scale our business, we took a proactive step to address this challenge. We decided to bring in Ernst & Young, a trusted financial advisory firm, to assist us in navigating the complex world of fundraising. Their expertise not only streamlined the process but also allowed us to focus more on refining our product and building valuable partnerships.
Currently, we're in an exciting phase where we're actively integrating our MVP solution with our first partner, an online fashion store in Iceland. This partnership represents a significant milestone for us and a testament to the potential of our SaaS solution.
Moreover, discussions with one of the leading e-commerce retailers in the Nordics have already begun, indicating a growing interest in our offering. We're also looking forward to a planned meeting with an Icelandic franchise of another large Swedish retailer, further expanding our network and exploring potential collaboration opportunities.
While seeking funding can be a challenging and time-consuming process, having the right support and a strong focus on product development and strategic partnerships has allowed us to navigate these challenges effectively and continue moving forward with our vision for the company.
What is the most rewarding aspect of entrepreneurship?
Heidrun: Despite these challenges, running a startup can also be incredibly rewarding. The resilience built through constant ups and downs, the ability to do more with less, the skill of effective prioritization, and the sharpened focus can all contribute to personal and professional growth. It's a rollercoaster ride that tests your limits and pushes you to evolve as an entrepreneur, making the journey all the more worthwhile.
Catecut is currently raising $2M.
For more information, visit www.catecut.com.