Glen and Jackson Miller of L2M/ResaleAI
JACKSON MILLER, the native Nashville businessman who in 2002 co-founded L2M LLC dba Plato's Closet with father Glen Miller, plans to raise about $2MM capital to advance the company's ResaleAI software solution to other retailers.
Miller said he and his father plan to transform L2M into a vertical Software as a Service (SaaS) play, with emphasis on re-sale of "gently used" apparel, merchandise, gear and the rest.
Miller, 40, said he wants L2M/ResaleAI to be among leaders in hybrid online/offline retailing or Brick-and-Mortar 2.0 for consumer buying and selling of used goods.
As an innovative "vertical AI" company, ResaleAI will produce a B2B stream of new tools for store operators who are managing supply chain, with an eye toward novel technologies that can, for example, help reduce the labor intensity of identifying and grading articles offered for sale, and more.
The company also plans to offer B2C consumer apps for its merchant customers to use in reaching consumers with promotions and pop-up in-store offers.
In their favorite scenario, L2M's existing retail stores will not only be generating profits, but providing a unique retail-software laboratory for development and testing of more L2M/ResaleAI offerings. Thus, L2M is not contemplating spinning-out ResaleAI, Miller said.
This isn't the Millers first rodeo -- but this time they know the bulls really well.
The father-son team were previously in Statzen, a content-analytics play for bloggers that turned-out to have bad timing (overtaken by social media streaming).
And, there was the younger Miller's Bizen startup, which he ran through Jumpstart Foundry, and later shuttered; and, AssassinGPS, an app that was sold to WorldBlender in 2010.
Miller said the proceeds of an L2M capital raise will go mainly to hiring topnotch software engineers with strong artificial intelligence (AI) experience.
Asked about outside advisors, Miller noted that the business-owner forum he participates in via EO Nashville has proven extraordinarily valuable.
He said L2M's growing technology emphasis has led him to consider adding legal counsel to cover tech-related needs, and he is still early in that process.
The company banks with Pinnacle Financial and its accounting is with PHB CPAs (Patterson, Hardee, Balletine) in Franklin.
Formally activated less than three years ago, the ResaleAI business is breakeven or better at a roughly $400K annualized runrate. L2M has essentially bootstrapped the tech side of the house.
ResaleAI's cornerstone package goes for $149 per month.
The platform includes two-way texting (synched with a single store phone number); Digital Daybook (tasking for 14 shifts per week, notes on priorities, etc.); Backstock tracking (enhances in-store and remote logistics, inventory aging reports and more); Nightly Report (today's sales vs comparables, etc.), Direct-Response emailing (linked to point of sale); Customer Loyalty (Five Stars); and Quickbooks integration.
Miller told Venture Nashville that a half-dozen of L2M's 70 payroll employees are now dedicated fulltime to the software business.
The priority market for ResaleAI is other franchisees associated with franchisor Winmark Corporation, based in Minneapolis.
In addition to Plato's Closet -- under which brand L2M operates a total 3 stores in Davidson and Rutherford Counties -- Winmark brands include OnceUponAChild, Play It Again Sports, Style Encore, and Music Go Round.
Miller said that the Winmark base represents about 350 retail stores, with perhaps 6,000 persons using point of sale technology each month. He said the business signed 45 retailers in the past 60 days.
Glen Miller, 65, is a former Vanderbilt University director of telecommunications and director of information-technology services. He has also held similar staff or consulting roles at Middle Tennessee State University, Western Telecommunications Consulting, ITS Corporation, Southeastern Telecom and South Central Bell, among other roles. He earned an MBA at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt.
Jackson Miller, 40, and his wife have a blended family of six children, ages 8 to 16. His LinkedIn is here. VNC