Interview with Moritz Braatz, CEO and Co-Founder at noah: Providing ‘Starter Kits’ For Students

Founded in 2018, noah provides a collection of perfectly curated ‘Starter Kits’, packed with tried and tested, high-quality tools, utensils and essentials, delivered directly to your door. From kitchen boxes to a home movers box, baking kits and student essentials, noah provides all the essentials needed to take your first step of every new endeavour; all the while costing you less time and saving money at the same time.

Following a recent £1.4 million seed-round raise, which was led by Fuel Venture and supported by additional angel investors, we sat down with noahs CEO and co-founder Moritz Braatz to talk about the brand’s recent raise, expansion plans and what the future holds…
 

Tell us about noah

 
Noah was founded just over two years ago, with the vision to become the first Starter Kit focused brand. One which empowers customers to start something new, and helps them navigate the First Steps of any new endeavour. By offering a variety of curated Starter Kits, noah wins customers with a simple yet appealing product proposition: We save you time & money, without compromising on quality.

In the coming months, we plan to extend our product portfolio with event-driven & hobby-focused Starter Kits, encouraging our growing community to discover exciting hobbies, and new interests. In addition, we plan to launch a content-driven app, which will serve to build customer confidence Beyond the Box, through easily accessible content and support for their new endeavours, no matter how big or small.
 
 
Noah's Box 60+ Piece Student Starter Kit - Bedding Pack (Duvet, Pillows, Bed Linen), Pan Sets, Kitchen Tools, Cooking Utensil, Tableware, Baking Tray, Cookware, Dinnerware Set (White, UK Single): Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen &
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
I founded noah together with my co-founder Harvey. We both have worked in various eCommerce Startups here in London, where often an incredible amount of capital and effort is spent on performance marketing, branding, and packaging. Instead of providing a truly innovative product, or trying to deliver genuine value and a memorable customer experience, they focus on optimising their excessive marketing spend. Therefore, we tried to look at the category from a different perspective and focused on two things:

1. Which product niche hasn’t been covered by Direct-To-Consumer companies
2. How can we deliver genuine value for our customers?

So it was less a case of ‘here is the idea, let’s go’, and instead, we spent time focusing on where we can truly add value to the lives of our customers.

We decided that the concept of bundling items together to improve the unit economics and transfer the savings to the end-consumer is a win-win situation – that’s how the idea for Starter Kits was born. As we founded noah over the late summer, it was a logical next step to launch a ‘Student Starter Kit’ as our first product.
 

 

What does the recent investment mean for the business?

 
Until now, noah has been more or less completely bootstrapped, which was great because we were able to put the right foundation in place without having to ‘force’ short-term, artificial growth to meet the expectations from institutional investors. However, launching new products in eCommerce without any external capital is a very lengthy process so the injection of fresh capital allows us to expand our product range and secure noah as the first Starter Kit brand out there.

Our recent investment has also allowed us to ensure we are prepared for the next phase of growth by expanding our team from 4 to 12 people within a few weeks.

We now have Fuel Venture, our experienced ‘partners in crime’ by our side, offering sound advice and helping us to accelerate our growth.

The whole team at Fuel Ventures, especially Shiv, Mark and Oli, have been stellar and we look forward to our upcoming journey with them.
 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
Initially, the pandemic hit us hard, but with some adjustments, noah experienced significant change and growth during the pandemic. For example, we were about to launch a ‘Festival Starter Kit’ in cooperation with a large ticket provider in Q1 of 2020. However, with early rumours of something ‘going on’ in the far east, we luckily did not place initial stock orders.

Also, we tried to raise our first investment round last February and March, in which, we had some very exciting and promising conversation. However, with the pandemic looming upon us, most investors decided to focus on their portfolio companies before engaging in any new investment – a completely understandable move.

We continued bootstrapping noah, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as sales numbers soared over the following months. Another silver lining was the incredible experience of helping so many new students navigate the move to university throughout the pandemic. We received lovely messages from all over the UK about how we had helped students & expats who needed to quarantine upon arrival by delivering everything they needed to their new place in a single order – leading to us being sold out multiple times throughout this very unique period.
 

What can we hope to see from noah in the future?

 
We have plans to launch a variety of new kits in a number of different categories outside of the homeware category. We also have plans to extend the way we help our customers take their first steps beyond just a physical purchase. The aim is to become the one-stop online brand people head to when they want to start something new but are not 100% sure on how to get started.
 

Can you give us any insight into the new launches planned for noah?

 
We’ve seen tremendous growth in individuals taking up new hobbies through the pandemic and this is something we believe we’ll continue to see as restrictions ease up. By offering curated kits with incredible value for money we aim to make ‘collaborative events’ e.g. pottery at home with friends, much more accessible and encourage people to pick up new hobbies or interests at a faster pace.

The beauty of being a brand that is product-agnostic is that we don’t have to focus on just one single product segment but develop new products across a variety of categories without diluting our brand vision or mission.

Having just onboarded so many new team members, we now have a nearly endless list of exciting new ideas for new products that we want to tackle over the next 12 months. Watch this space!