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People’s Champion finalist 2018: eporta

Colourful and compassionate, this high-end furniture website is winning over discerning industry professionals. But can it win you over to be crowned People's Champion?

Start-up name: eporta
Founders: Aneeqa Khan
Started in: May 2015
Based in: London
Business description: Platform for interior designers and property developers to source high-quality furniture

Shortlisted categories:

Innovative Business of the Year, Women in Business Award, and Venture-funded Business of the Year

The eporta story:

Like many successful start-ups, eporta sprung out of an entrepreneurially-minded individual finding a problem in everyday life and creating a way of fixing it.

Founder Aneeqa Khan’s business vision was framed by the frustration she felt when trying to find reasonably-priced, high-quality items to furnish her newly purchased Brixton home, a process she describes as “time-consuming and often futile.”

Driven by this kernel of annoyance, and coupled with her conviction that the spaces in which we live, work and socialise are intrinsically linked with our emotions, Khan shrewdly spotted a unique opportunity to tap into the £700bn worldwide interior design industry.

She says she founded the business on the understanding “that great design makes people’s lives easier and happier.”

Crucially, Khan also recognised that the interior design industry has a history of being quite closeted and insular, with the ability to source beautiful pieces reliant on moving in the right circles and knowing the right people. eporta set out to blow the doors wide open.

The three traditional sourcing avenues for industry professionals are trade shows and catalogues, familiar suppliers and agents. eporta has provided an audacious alternative, its beautiful, convenient website giving users access to over 65,000 products at their fingertips. Any piece on the site can be delivered anywhere in the world at the simple touch of a button.

Featuring only the highest-quality products, eporta allows suppliers to build their brands and forge relationships with both commercial customers and professional interior designers as well as selling directly to end-point consumers, applying the same fixed-rate commission to all sales.

eporta is certainly not a middleman; it’s a platform that fosters open and honest conversations between businesses and customers. Additionally, it offers stellar customer service from its team of account managers, who are there to handle the nitty-gritty of delivery logistics and cancellations.

With a commitment to customer service and a democratic platform, eporta is a seriously stylish and sophisticated disrupter. Little wonder that its highly sustainable business model recently attracted €8m in Series A funding.

Why eporta made our shortlist:

One of only a handful of start-ups to be nominated for three different awards this year, eporta is in contention due to its ambitious yet targeted approach to a massive – and massively outdated – industry, and the success it has already achieved.

Its business-to-business (B2B) approach has been successful in converting the trust upon which the industry is built into a platform which makes it simple to source the perfect piece for your space.

Where to find out more about eporta:

Website: www.eporta.com
Twitter:@eporta_

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