It’s been a few months since a new platform was introduced to the market.
And it’s not all fun and games.
“It’s like a new product,” says Ben, who runs a tech startup called Zinus.
“You have all these little bits that are not necessarily designed to be used as a platform for your business, but they are there to make it easier for you to grow and expand.”
Ben started Zinus in 2011, when he was still living in New York, to sell his own clothing online.
“My friends were just buying their own clothes online and I wanted to do the same thing,” he says.
He had no money, so he sold his first pair of jeans to raise money for his startup, then made a bet with friends that if they sold more of their jeans, he could go into business with them.
Zinus has sold more than 30 million pairs of jeans in the last three years, and now it’s launching its first branded jeans.
But it has a tough road ahead.
It’s not just about making the brand appealing to a new market.
“The challenge for us has been that we’ve got a lot of the same things we did five or 10 years ago,” Ben says.
“We’re just not the same brands.
So we’re trying to build something that’s a little more like a shoe company, where we have a little bit of a history and a little of a personality and we’re very ambitious.”
The platform will be the latest addition to the Zinus line-up, and it’s also the company’s first to launch in a US market.
But that hasn’t stopped Zinus from hoping that a wider US market might prove a better fit.
“I think that’s going to make the brand more accessible to a wider audience,” Ben tells me.
“A lot more people in the US are looking for something to wear online that’s not a traditional brand.
And if you’re trying new things, people are going to want to try it.”
Zinus, which launched in the UK in 2015, has already started selling its jeans online.
But Ben says that it will take longer to scale into a more mainstream market.
For example, he says that the platform doesn’t currently offer a service to help customers find a retailer in their area.
And while the company has secured an initial funding round, it still needs to raise more money to get it going.
“Our strategy is to build a strong business model and then sell products to a broader audience and have that continue over time,” he explains.
“If we do that and if we’re successful, we will be able to make a lot more money and make our business more sustainable.”