13. Made.com

For taking on the high street by cutting out the middleman

“Everyone within the industry said it wouldn’t work... but when an industry says something is impossible, that’s when you know the opportunity is there”

- Chloe Macintosh, Co-founder.

The People’s Champion of the furniture industry - Made.com have been one to watch ever since their ‘cutting out the middle man’ business model started to shake up the category in the UK in 2010.  Pledging to make a stand for the consumer to offer original furniture design at affordable prices, Made eschew physical stores for interactive showrooms and group online orders for production in batches - cutting out warehousing and ‘middle man’ costs.

Acting as the People’s Champion both offers a very compelling offer to customers; working direct with factories in China means that prices can be up to 70 per cent lower than on the high street, and translates into business success; Made has reported 50 per cent growth year-on-year and has expanded to operate in the UK, Netherlands, Italy and France.

Last year, after being dubbed the second fasted growing tech company in the UK, they caught our eye (and made it into A Beautiful Constraint) when they used some classic challenger resourcefulness to exhibit during the Milan Furniture Fair; displaying their furniture in Milanese apartments rather than paying for space the official exhibition hall - perfectly on brand for a challenger who cuts out the middle-man.

This year, along with returning to Milan with their Made Unboxed event, they have opened a high-tech flagship showroom in London’s Soho, launched a collaboration with Interiors magazine LivingEtc., and reports suggest they will soon be closing a 20m deal with french company Partech Ventures to support further international expansion. We can only expect their mission to advance in leaps and bounds for the rest of 2015.

made.com

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Helen is eatbigfish's chief cynic, secret idealist and reluctant entrepreneur. She can mostly be found drinking wine and eating crisps in East London pubs.