Building My StartupInvestorsRetailStartups 2.0

Our series profiling companies from our Startups 2.0 lists continues with Billy Butt, co-founder & CEO at Fassion.

Fassion, which featured on Manchester Startups 2.0, is a ‘shopping-first social marketplace’ for independent fashion which allows people to discover products and interact with shoppable images and videos from independent brands and content creators on social media.

The aim is to help them compete with fast-fashion budgets while overcoming difficult supply chains.

Fassion is currently building a waitlist of users and has more than 80 brands on its platform.

Billy explains what gave him the confidence to launch the startup with his brother and says they are on the lookout for funding ahead of a full launch.

Manchester Startups 2.0

Describe your personal background prior to starting the business.

After leaving university I knew the startup space was something I wanted to go into so I joined a company started up by a friend.

Kaampus is a platform to connect societies at universities across the UK with reputable graduate employers, who provide sponsorship in return for sharing their employment opportunities, and I joined the team as head of business development.

I spent my time growing their user base from inception to the company’s eventual sale. It was a great start to my entrepreneurial journey and gave me the confidence to go ahead and start Fassion with my brother, Charlie.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced to date? How did you overcome this, or plan to overcome this?

We didn’t have experience building an independent brand ourselves so initially it was difficult to identify the type of independent brand we wanted to have on the platform and then make sure we built the right features for them.

That is where our initial MVP came in: it wasn’t perfect, but it allowed us to build a brand and truly understand the problems being faced by both customers and brands.

We now like to refer to brands who are fit for Fassion as too big for Depop but too small for ASOS. To help these brands keep on top of servicing Fassion’s customers, the forthcoming app will integrate with a Unified Commerce API that will keep inventory and fulfilment in sync with the brands’ existing systems. It simplifies the process of onboarding, removing any key barriers which we were discovering.

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If you were making a birthday wish for your business, what would you ask for and why?

It’s your typical answer – but funding! We have developed the app, have a waitlist of both brands and customers and have built a strong team around us, so raising is the final piece of the puzzle before we fully launch the app.

What benefits does being based in Manchester have for your company? How would you describe the tech scene there? What could it do better?

We love being in Manchester: I feel it is the best of both worlds. It is thriving with potential and innovative companies trying to solve interesting problems but it still also has the community feel to it that is sometimes lacking in other cities.

What I would say is that when it comes to funding, especially early-stage companies most of the capital available is still focused in London. There is still a lot of catching up to do in that area.

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