OptiOffer is a revolutionary SRP (Supplier – Reseller Platform) that equipment sales professionals use. Known for its revolutionary price quoting system and shareable eCatalog network OptiOffer allows sales teams to finally drop old fashioned PDF catalog or Excel price list import, copy/paste, and hundreds of emails. It connects the suppliers’ product catalog with its resellers to automate and streamline their quoting and order creation & management.
We chat with Founder and CEO Nichita Herput about how he became an entrepreneur, the idea behind OptiOffer, the naming process, raising funds and more.
Tell us about yourself and your company. What do you do?
I am the CEO of OptiOffer. Before getting into tech, I had a pretty regular local job selling commercial equipment for restaurants, and I wanted to make a change. The whole business started from the problems I’ve experienced at work. As a company, we want to improve the way businesses buy and sell commercial equipment and supplies by changing how product catalogs work.
In a nutshell, think of Optioffer as a network that helps foodservice owners connect with curated suppliers and manufacturers of equipment and supplies. At the same time, suppliers and manufacturers connect to create some sort of business hubs using our technology, which we call eco labs, to manage deals, configure products, and do business to business together.
In the end, the point of Optioffer is to get rid of PDFs, excels, and hundreds of emails, continuing text, and calls.
How does that generally work without your product?
It kind of still works the same as it did in the 1980s, to be honest with you.
Nowadays, it starts from a PDF rather than a printed catalog, which is basically the digital version of a printed catalog. Commercial equipment is highly customizable and specific equipment. It is not like a laptop that you can just look it up and buy. It’s more complex. And the sales process is a lot more complicated than usual e-commerce. This means everything from the manufacturer to distributors, to resellers, to end customers happens with PDFs, excels, lots of excels, orders and whatnot, emails, texts, WhatsApps, telegram, whatever you can think of, and here’s not one network that fits this kind of business. We are trying to create that.
How did you come up with the name? What was the process like selecting the name for the brand?
My co-founder and I aren’t marketing guys, we are not really in-depth with what goes with it, but we always wanted to start with the branding.
At first, we’ve had the “branding” done by some kind of freelancer which didn’t satisfy us at all. So we actually found an excellent brand strategist from one of the bigger cities in Romania. By the way, three years later, she is a co-founder of our company as well.
OptiOffer was the first name we thought was cool; it’s the optimum way to offer your products to the market. That’s what we are trying to push. We got the .com domain as well.
Nichita Herput, Co-Founder & CEO of OptiOffer
Optioffer was the first name we thought was cool; it’s the optimum way to offer your products to the market. That’s what we are trying to push. We got the .com domain as well. So we were pretty sure with the name, and then our brand strategist helped us do the visuals, the colors we need, the fonts, etc. I’ve learned so much stuff regarding branding that I didn’t even know existed. She’s helping us keep everything on track, ensuring that the app, the website, and social media are within the brand. By the way, her name is Nikita, as is mine. It’s a confusion around the company, but she’s the one that helped us realize and say, “Hey, you need to be careful with this because it matters. It matters.”
You are based in Romania. What is your target market?
We have two sides. We are kind of a marketplace, so first food owners from cafe owners, restaurant owners, food truck owners, everyone who owns a food business are the demand side of our platform. And then, we have the supply side, which can be resellers, distributors, or commercial kitchen equipment manufacturers. Depending on the company’s size, resellers can be a one-person company, distributors can be fifty-hundred people, and manufacturers need to be a bigger company to make sense economically. So it’s a split, but let’s say demand and supply, food owners and suppliers of commercial equipment.
And you work across Europe or in terms of geography?
We are focusing on the entire Europe. We started with Romania as it’s our home country, we are now trying to cover the whole of Europe, that means opening to thousands more supply and demand companies, which is not really easy.
You raised funding recently. What was that process like?
I like trying new stuff and getting out of my usual days, so I’ve entered a contest that basically said pitch idea and see where it goes. So I pitched my idea, and it actually went to 50,000 euros funding. From my point of view, it was luck and, you know, good timing as well, entering the contest. 50,000 euros is pretty good money, but not that much in tech, but it got us off the ground and helped us cover a pretty good size of the Romanian market. Right now, moving towards Europe, we have started a seed round of 4 million euros, just so we can the entire continent and document the supply and demand side.
Check out the rest of the interview and see what’s next exciting thing is for OptiOffer.