Etexx, the textile marketplace in compulsory liquidation
It is the end of the adventure for people from Nice who couldn’t succeed their second investment (50 million francs were required). One of the flagships of the French Riviera economy fails.
A newsflash on the website of Etexx.com announces the news: Etexx shuts. One of the most successful adventure in Nice in the sector of new technologies, which began in euphoria in August 1999, will end on July 30th with the closure of the website. The textile marketplace, funded by Frédéric Allard and Frédéric Court, two former students at the Lycée Masséna, was put into liquidation last June 7th.Acknowledged on the European marketEtexx elaborated and developed the basis of an Internet strategy for the sector of textile with professionals in the sector, as it is explained on the website of Etexx. Immediately recognized as the European textile marketplace, we were joined by the main actors of the market.With 12.000 registered members on the website, 250 exhibitors answering these quality, innovation and services requirements, 13,000 references of fabrics and updated textile supplies, numerous “Trend” interactive forums which valued collections and creativity, and with more and more website users, Etexx had become the new tool of everyday work in the profession.A lethal required investmentThe problem? It obviously concerns finance. Etexx, 78 employees, is seeking to get a second fund raising since last November. A first investment search, in March 2000, brought the company 46 million francs. For the second, in a context which had completely changed, the group was leaving without Frédéric Court. The latter, one of the founders and financier of the team, had left the company in November 2000, following a divergence concerning the strategy.Frédéric Allard, the CEO, the textile leader, aimed on 18 up to 20 million euros (between 120 and 130 million francs). It was the amount he was searching at the last venture capital summit of Sophia Antipolis last December. At the end of the first term 2001, due to the difficulties met to raise funds, Etexx had then lowered the amount and aimed a fund raising worth 8 million euros (a bit more than 50 million francs). However, even for this amount, investors didn’t want to invest in Etexx.Profitability announced for mid-2003Global Retail Partners and Partech, which had invested the first time, with the help of the Italian Cirlab, subsidiary of the group De Benedetti and several business angels were not convinced to go on. Investors didn’t want to wait for a profitability announced for mid-2003, Etexx planning a turnover worth 10 million francs for 2001.As a last resort, the marketplace tried to find the support from a group. ”Chargeurs and Lecra Systèmes were contacted but have renounced to lead such a deal, afraid by the time required in order to gather a significant customer portfolio on the online platform, ” notes the Digital Business magazine. Moreover, for the anecdote, on the ”second floor at the address 2, rue du Faubourg Poissonière, the offices in Paris of the textile marketplace were converted in examination rooms where candidates at the baccalaureate were yesterday »…The website closes on July 30thThe success met by Etexx, their work and their professionalism, with which the company entered the market, the “incredible energy » invested in the adventure, come to reinforce the bitterness feeling that inevitably brings a liquidation. Thus, it is all the more painful for us not to be supported by the financial market, which is nowadays unfavourable, concludes the goodbye message.«The financial market blocks the development of the ETEXX solution and it doesn’t allow us to carry through to our objective of e-business solution provider. For the textile and clothes industry. We then regret to announce that the current version of the website won’t be continued after July 30th 2001.”