Supliful, a Latvian on-demand consumer packaged goods start-up, helps online entrepreneurs and influencers launch and manage their private-label cosmetics, dietary supplement, or packaged food business.
The vale of the creator economy has mushroomed in recent years, and it’s predicted to further double in size to 480 billion US dollars by 2027.
With this come creators and entrepreneurs looking for ways to monetise and grow their audience, while building lasting income streams that aren’t solely tied to impromptu sponsorships or thematically-irrelevant brand deals.
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To that end, launching a business is an increasingly popular avenue, made widely accessible by white-label dropshipping companies. One of these is Riga-based Supliful, a supplement dropshipping firm, one of whose users recently becoming the first to generate over one million US dollars in sales.
The first of many, says co-founder and CEO Martins Lasmanis.
“Among other things, our mission is to empower the launch and provide robust support for 100 seven-figure businesses by 2026.”
Founded in 2021, Supliful quickly expanded to the US market, opening a fulfillment centre in Denver, Colorado. The firm had a record 2023, more than quintupling revenue and growing the size of the team from 15 to 38 people, all while approaching profitability in the year’s closing months.
Overcoming growing pains
Nevertheless, Supliful’s rapid growth is posing scaling challenges.
“High demand is exceeding supply to the point where we decided to stop outbound marketing. A good problem to have, but one that demands a quick response. Moreover, this year, we’re aiming for an ambitious but achievable tenfold increase in our revenue. For this, we need funding,” adds Lasmanis.
“Despite the highs of 2023 and tireless outreach, we struggled to raise venture capital (VC) investment. It was a year of purse-tightening for VC funds and few would even consider anything beyond the traditional software business.”
That’s why, to ensure it could continue scaling while raising a series A funding round, Supliful sought out alternative financing in the form of a mezzanine loan—a hybrid debt/equity finance instrument—with equity fund FlyCap answering the call, providing 1.2 million US dollars in debt financing and up to two million US dollars available, if needed.
That said, this isn’t necessarily a viable option for other start-ups seeking ways to weather the drought, says Lasmanis. “Definitely not pre-revenue ones, since you need to show that you can repay the loan.”
Supliful aims to achieve its goal of tenfold increase in revenue by adding new verticals and expanding its production partner programme to build a network of CPG producers. It launched the programme in 2023 and has already welcomed their first three producers into the fold.
The start-up is following in the hoof-steps of Latvian unicorn Printful, and other successful print-on-demand (POD) start-ups such as Selfnamed, Print On Pack, and AM Craft that have put Latvia on the map as an unlikely but robust hub for POD innovation and development.
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