There comes a time in the life of a startup when it is, happily, meet with the opportunity to expand its frontiers. To mooo.com.au, a seller of diverse personalised and stylish products for kids, that moment came last year. The opportunity appeared off the strength of its strong showing in the Australian market in about four years.
Not all startups seize the moment but the founders of mooo did, by taking their store to the U.K. market. Less than a year later, Mooo has taken a bigger leap. It is out to capture a slice of the global market, starting soon with the United States, and to do that has rebranded itself as Tinyme, the name it used to enter the British market.
You could say it’s all about growing up and being counted. Tinyme’s founders, technologist and marketer Mike Wilson, product designer Nick McLennan and investment banker Ben Hare, want to show that companies from Australia can compete in the global marketplace. The startup is an innovator in “online mass customisation pure play” and believes it has the smarts to build a global brand in children’s products.
Quest for one great international brand
“From day one we’ve sold worldwide and have sent products to over 50 countries from Lithuania to Brunei but, what we haven’t had is a local presence that is specifically tailored to the local market,” said Wilson, the company’s director of Web, Product and Marketing. “With our U.K. launch mid-last year, we started this process and plan to continue this approach, making our brand highly relevant to customers within their particular region.”
“While we are really sad to see the mooo brand go, we’re also really excited that our little spare bedroom startup with one product has grown up and is taking it to the world,” he added, while insisting that nothing else will change for the firm’s over 150,000 Australian customers. It runs a digital-based production facility in Victoria, Australia, backed by in-house design. The name change in the Australian market is a bid to create “one great international brand.”
Hare, formerly of Goldman Sachs, and who is COO and director at Tinyme, says the company has seen continual year-on-year growth since its inception and that has been instrumental in its global ambitions. “Both online retail and mass customisation are rapidly evolving and high-growth spaces,” he said. Consequently, Tinyme has, over the past two years, deliberately slowed down product development in order “to focus on building out our business platform so we can go global and scale dramatically.”
Tinyme has come a long way from its days as a startup that began in a spare bedroom, which actually wasn’t that spare because baby number 2 had arrived. It moved into the spare bedroom and garage of a friend’s house before finding its own space, and now a new global market and brand.
Tinyme and its ambitions, are far from tiny.