Spotlight: Shoptalk’s Founder, Anil Aggarwal, Joins Recurate as an Advisor & Investor
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Spotlight: Shoptalk’s Founder, Anil Aggarwal, Joins Recurate as an Advisor & Investor

We caught up with Shoptalk founder Anil Aggarwal on what the future of resale looks like and his reasons for investing in Recurate

6
min read
July 29, 2022

When it comes to building a successful startup, a good idea is just the beginning. Recurate was founded in 2020 to make resale easy and change retail forever. Thanks to our world-class team and a diverse network of advisors, we’ve raised $14 million in Series A funding and continue to expand our list of 50 brand partners

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Anil D. Aggarwal, who brings a depth of experience in retail innovation and startups to Recurate as both an investor and advisor.

You’ve accomplished so much, it’s a challenge to sum up! Give us a taste of what you’ve been working on lately.

Well, I just counted, and it turns out that I’ve founded more than 10 startups over the past 25 years. I’ve launched and led everything from tech companies and industry events to a nonprofit trade association. So, you could describe me as a serial entrepreneur.

Most recently, I’ve combined much of my experience to focus on Personatech, an event tech company I founded 5 years ago that’s digitizing the events industry with technology designed to modernize how people connect and collaborate. I’m sure many of your readers have either participated in or seen the meetings program at Shoptalk, which is powered by Personatech. Over the years, so many people have told me how much they love Shoptalk, and the new paradigm that the meetings program brings to events is a big part of that.

Having a profound impact has always been important to me–whether that’s tech companies that create entirely new product categories and disrupt industries or events that bring large communities of people together to drive the front line of innovation. There has to be some greater meaning in everything I do! 

As an advisor and investor in Recurate, what initially got you interested in the company?

That’s an easy question to answer! The team and the mission. I’ve known Adam Siegel for many years now. We met during the early days of Shoptalk, and he told me pretty early on that he wanted to start something of his own. I told him to count me in whenever he did.

The Recurate mission is incredibly important to me. The environment and sustainability aren’t just the latest buzzwords for me, they are things I care deeply about, along with my love for animals. The opportunity to roll up my sleeves and support Adam and Recurate in having a positive impact on the world is both meaningful and fun. Resale has proven itself in third-party marketplaces, and it’s time to make it accessible across all channels and use cases. Consumers want to shop more responsibly, and making that easy and convenient for them will no doubt have a profound impact. Let’s do it!

You bring a wealth of startup experience. How are you planning to help Recurate grow?

Even though Adam is a first time founder, the rise of Recurate has been nothing short of meteoric. He’s a natural talent–both at the strategic level and in the details–and he has a fantastic team around him. My role is to support him and the team with the experience of building industry-leading tech companies and brands in relatively short periods of time. 

I’ve been working with Adam founder-to-founder for several months now, sharing experiences and brainstorming ideas, with a focus on my views of what works and what doesn’t work. Beyond being a helpful founder, I’m also excited to bring to the table the insights I gained building Shoptalk as one of the top communities and voices when it comes to retail and ecommerce innovation. Those insights came from many sleepless nights figuring out the trends, technologies and business models that would form the future of retail and ecommerce, and then working with the various industry silos to come together and catalyze change. 

What market trends have you noticed related to sustainability and the circular economy?

To me, it’s a foregone conclusion. Every brand and retailer needs to have a dynamic sustainability program that gets better each year. One of the things that got me so excited about the idea of Recurate is that they’re bringing one of the most sustainable ways to shop directly to brands, and making it easy to implement and operate. Plus, the idea of extending a product’s life through resale is one of the best things a retailer or brand can do to communicate their values and build on their legacy.

Resale is where technology and sustainability collide. 

Exactly. That’s why I’m so excited–and I know why Adam got into this space. Resale is the way to improve retail’s sustainability performance while driving growth. As I mentioned, over many years, I’ve watched the third-party resale market go through the roof, mainly driven by third-party platforms that are now multi-billion-dollar businesses. There is real money to be made by brands that they’re not currently fully capitalizing on. Adding a resale channel to an ecommerce site is a great way to build loyalty, engage customers, and do what’s best for the planet.

Are customers looking for brands to provide resale opportunities?

I think so. There’s no question in my mind that consumers want this–that’s been proven by third-party marketplaces. People are buying and selling preloved products. Recurate is expanding the consumer experience by integrating directly into retailer and brand websites, and they’re making it super convenient, simple. This is the next phase in the growth of the resale market.

What else about Recurate stands out to you? 

After more than two decades of starting and building companies, it’s clear to me that nothing matters more than the quality and commitment of the team. I’ve known Adam for a number of years and really respect his leadership and intuition about where the industry is going. Adam and his co-founder, Wilson, who I’ve recently gotten to know, have pulled together a diverse team of leaders from third-party marketplaces, leading brands, tech and sustainability. It’s a team that understands this industry inside and out. And it’s just the type of people I look to invest in. They are genuine people–people who care deeply about the retail industry and making it better. I think brands will find that Recurate has the type of people they’ll want to partner with.

Imagine resale five years from now. How do you see the market evolving?

I see the second-hand market being just as popular, important and ubiquitous as first-hand. People will buy and sell online, in-store, through direct-to-consumer brands, and in multi-brand retailers. It's going to be everywhere. Younger consumers especially are frequently shopping second-hand first, so it only makes sense that second-hand options are just as available to them as first-hand. 

If you could recommend one thing to Recurate's leadership team, what do you suggest?

Always put yourself in the shoes of every key stakeholder, and be honest about the hard decisions. For Recurate, that means really thinking through what’s best for buyers, sellers, and brands. The result of that is building the most compelling product, delivered in the best way, that has the most impact. From what I’ve seen, Recurate’s technology is very customer-centric–it’s an easy way to engage in the resale market as a buyer and seller. Simply put, if it’s easy, convenient and makes a big difference, everyone will use it, and I think Recurate is on the right path with that. 

Find more information on Recurate’s services at recurate.com.

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