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How it all started: The Nextail origin story


Welcome to our blog! In this first post we would like to share the story of how the founders, Joaquín VillalbaCarlos Miragall and Javier Lafuente started Nextail. We hope you enjoy it!

Joaquin and Carlos met two decades ago while attending Engineering School in Valencia, a city in the east coast of Spain. In their last academic year they were awarded a grant to write their final theses in Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech, so they moved together to the States.

At that time they had already worked together in several international projects and already shared a passion for creating new things and solving complex problems. This mindset was greatly stimulated by the campus life at Tech but while in Atlanta they could not imagine that one day they would start a company at the intersection of fashion and technology!

Carlos and Joaquín at NRF Big Show
Carlos and Joaquin attending the NRF big show in 2015

After graduation, they followed split but similar paths. They both started a career in operations; Joaquin at Kuehne & Nagel and Carlos at Whirlpool. After this professional experience it was time for their MBAs, Joaquin at INSEAD and Carlos at LBS. Following graduation Joaquin joined the Inditex group (Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, etc.) in their executive program and Carlos joined the consulting firm, AT Kearney.

Four years after joining Inditex and having been appointed Head of European Operations, Joaquin took a sabbatical. As he traveled the world, he started to do freelance consulting for retailers that requested his services to revamp their operations. This is the moment when he realized that the available technology for inventory management was very far from solving the actual needs of retailers and years behind the solutions developed internally at Inditex.

Existing commercial software was not conceived to support the kind of agile and smart decision-making Joaquin had experienced in his professional life. It was the end of 2013 and mStore Operations, eventually Nextail, was born to make stock management a better place, free from Excel and rigid ERPs.

At that time, Joaquin serendipitously met Javier at a sailing course. Javier was founder of Decide Soluciones, a Spanish leading company in predictive analytics and optimization that worked for companies like Airbus, Carrefour and Mapfre in their most complex analytics issues. He was very compelled by the idea of building a product for retailers and brought his 20 years expertise on analytics and software development to the venture.

Some months later, mStore Operations was accepted to Venture Hive, a startup accelerator in Miami. While there, Carlos visited Joaquin and understood it was time to quit his job as Senior Manager at A.T. Kearney and join mStore Operations, bringing to the founding team his experience on supply chain, finance, and strategy consulting.

In 2014, Joaquin, Carlos, and Javier (Decide Soluciones) founded Nextail, an evolution of mStore Operations, with the vision of applying the latest technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to solve the old problem of inventory allocation and replenishment. The vision included building a next generation solution with a high component of design that would be affordable and easy to use for everyone in the organization from store managers to managing directors.

In less than three years, Nextail has become a reality with a cutting-edge product and a team of over 25 Nextailers. Nextail has today more than $500 million worth of stock under management in over 30 countries… and a bright future ahead!

Visit our website to see how Nextail is helping retailers transform their core merchandising decisions with AI and machine learning.

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