The Microsoft ScaleUp program (previously known as Microsoft Accelerator) is designed for Series A startups and offers access to sales, marketing and technical support. Eligible startups partake in the immersive program at one of our eight global locations followed by ongoing support from a dedicated team of success managers. One of the ScaleUp locations is Microsoft ScaleUp Berlin, where a dedicated team around MD Iskender Dirik twice a year support a batch of up to 10 startups with dedicated coaching, training and technical support. In this blog series we will introduce one of the participating StartUps each Tuesday.
Nextail is a startup founded in 2014 by Joaquin Villalba and Carlos Miragall in Madrid. The company developed a platform that solves one of the biggest problems that retailers face – the misalignment of supply and demand, which causes billions of dollars in losses every year due to markdowns and unsold products.
Nextail’s solution applies artificial intelligence and prescriptive analytics based on fast-fashion operational practices to enable quick, automated decision-making, and better align supply and demand for retailers. Their cloud-based platform helps omnichannel retailers optimize four processes: buying the right amount of each product, first allocation of goods to the stores, daily replenishment and stock rebalancing of the network within an area.
Currently Nextail operates in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, Russia and Brazil, and is about to enter the US market. Their clients are leading fashion and cosmetics retailers including Kiko Milano, Pepe Jeans and Stefanel.
60 seconds with Nextail
Nextail participated together with nine different Tech-Startups at the Microsoft ScaleUp Batch Week in Berlin. We have asked them some questions about the collaboration with Microsoft and their new learnings:
How are you involved with Microsoft ScaleUp?
The Microsoft Scale Up program has given us access to the Microsoft ecosystem. This has provided us with incredible networking opportunities and the opportunity to become co‐sellers. Moreover, Microsoft ScaleUp has connected us with experts and mentors that help in key areas for scaling, including go-to market strategy, business development and change management. They have provided us with practical advice based on solid experience.
What was the biggest challenge for you before the start of the program – and have you overcome it yet?
As a ScaleUp company, one of our biggest challenges is business development, more specifically accessing new retailers in Europe and the US, and the program has helped us to structure our go-to-market strategy better and prepare materials to operationalize it.
From a technical point of view, building agile integrations with our clients using Microsoft Dynamics will remove an important bottleneck and set us ready for hypergrowth, while our infrastructure needs to support the additional workload from more and larger clients. We continue to work on these crucial areas with our mentors and have received great support from the CTO of the Microsoft ScaleUp program with the migration to Azure.
What areas did the ScaleUp Batch Week help you the most?
All the coaching and training we’ve received has really helped us to define our objectives and gain clarity on the execution strategy. The sessions with inspirational role models and leaders have been beneficial from both a business and personal perspective. Top speakers have shared insights on fundamental business skills such as communication, sales, pricing and negotiation, which has been really didactic and enjoyable as they encourage team discussion. This has allowed us to get to know other growing startups, discuss the challenges along our journeys as well as the next steps in our organizations. On a personal note, we have learnt that in order to become an ironman all you need is preparation, determination… and a towel!
In a nutshell: What makes the Microsoft ScaleUp special for you?
Nextail is building the next generation of intelligent commerce software in the cloud. In the 80s Microsoft built the basis for personal computing and has stayed a relevant player with a growing presence in enterprise software and the cloud. We cannot think of a better partner to bring the power of intelligent systems to the end user in retail corporations. The ScaleUp program is designed with a clear target and with the right incentives. It has a huge potential for accelerating the success of Nextail and the growth of Microsoft in cloud computing.
What are your next steps?
The immediate next steps are getting down to work with all the plans we’ve made during the program. We need to finalize the implementation of our technical roadmap with Azure and MS Dynamics, in order to provide a seamless experience for retailers who are already Microsoft customers.
Furthermore, we’re excited to be expanding into the US and opening an office in New York with our new Country Manager, Milan Babic. In parallel, we’re strengthening our presence in Europe and will be doubling the size of the team, so making sure that we have the right processes in place to attract, retain and develop top talent is key.
Tags: Germany, Microsoft ScaleUp, startup