Best Practice


Feb 27 2017 ...

How it started: The Nextail origin story

Discover the Nextail origin story and why Joaquín Villalba, Carlos Miragall and Javier Lafuente founded the company that is making the retail world a better, more sustainable place.

Joaquin and Carlos met in the early 2000s while attending Engineering School in Valencia, a city on the east coast of Spain. In their last academic year, they were awarded a grant to write their final thesis on Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech, in the USA.

At that time they had already worked together on several international projects and 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!

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.

Inditex: a launchpad for global experience

Four years after joining Inditex and having been appointed Head of European Operations, Joaquin took a sabbatical. As he traveled the world, he undertook freelance consulting for retailers that requested his services to revamp their operations. This is the moment when he realized that the available technology for managing inventory 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 leading Spanish company for predictive analytics and optimization that worked for companies like Airbus, Carrefour and Mapfre on 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 by 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 Nextail is founded

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.