How Josh Dzime-Assison and His Team Help Resellers List Items Faster

Solving the problems of cross-posting

Reselling merchandise online can be tedious, so Josh Dzime-Assison teamed up with some peers to build software that helps business owners manage some of those reselling pain points.

Josh Dzime-Assison, Vendoo Co-Founder.

Vendoo

Josh Dzime-Assison is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of the tech company Vendoo, developer of a software platform that helps business owners manage reselling their merchandise online. Dzime-Assison helped launch the company in 2017 after working in the reselling industry for a decade and realizing the challenges people in this field face. 

"As I grew in this business, I realized that I was a one-person show. It was me that was managing all the different aspects of my reseller business," Dzime-Assison told Lifewire in a phone interview. "Because there are only 24 hours in a day, I found it difficult to scale my business past a certain level because I didn’t have enough time to do it all."

Before launch, Dzime-Assison had 300 to 400 items to manually list on different reseller platforms, a process that consumed valuable time. Vendoo is trying to address this problem by allowing resellers to use a single platform to cross-list items on various marketplaces—such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Poshmark—as well as manage their inventories and tap into analytics.

Quick Facts

  • Name: Josh Dzime-Assison
  • Age: 33
  • From: Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Favorite Game To Play: Chess, both virtually and in-person with Vendoo teammates mainly.
  • Key quote or motto he lives by: "Patience, persistence, progress."

Lessons Learned Through Immigration

Growing up in the Maryland area, Dzime-Assison said he had equal amounts of exposure to city and suburban life. He attended private schools by day and spent his evenings hanging out with neighborhood friends until the street lights came on.

Dzime-Assison’s father is a first-generation immigrant from Ghana, so he often taught him lessons that he wouldn’t be able to learn elsewhere, such as how to be self-sufficient.

"These lessons helped me be pretty well rounded in my perspectives on life," he said. "Growing up in that type of household with my father, I think I became innately entrepreneurial because of the experiences he shared with me."

"As minorities, we didn’t have access to the same capital that a lot of other startups have access to when they first begin."

Dzime-Assison had been pursuing different business opportunities since he was a kid, and distinctly remembers always trying to find ways to monetize whatever project he was working on.

Through his journey as an entrepreneur, he eventually met Thomas Rivas, Benjamin Martinez, and Chris Amador, three Hispanic businessmen who he would partner with to co-found Vendoo. Rivas, who serves as CEO, first approached Dzime-Assison with the idea for the company after having similar experiences in the reselling industry.

"We had a lot of challenges being four minorities, especially four young minorities and first-time founders," Dzime-Assison said. "I think one of our first initial challenges was our lack of network."

Dzime-Assison said Vendoo started with a few different prototype ideas. Then, in 2019, the company launched beta software for free. After hearing from users and fine-tuning its product, Vendoo launched a paid version of its platform in January 2020. 

Josh Dzime-Assison with the other co-founders of Vendoo.
Josh Dzime-Assison (far right) with the other co-founders of Vendoo.

Vendoo

"What we’re working on right now is partnering with some of the different marketplaces that we have integrations with to improve the user experience for the resellers that use our software and to solidify our software amongst tech companies in this space, like Facebook," Dzime-Assison said.

Pushing Through the Difficulties 

One of the most significant challenges that Vendoo's founders have faced, outside of networking, is funding. Typically, startups are bootstrapped, then raise a small seed round from family and friends. Dzime-Assison said this proved a challenge, since all of their parents were first-generation immigrants, and the majority of their support systems are still back in their home countries. 

"As minorities, we didn’t have access to the same capital that a lot of other startups have access to when they first begin," he said.

"Naturally, they were skeptical because we didn’t look the part, and banks weren’t expecting people like us to come in to deposit that kind of money."

Luckily, Dzime-Assison said that since he worked in the fashion and entertainment industries before Vendoo, he had built solid relationships that turned into investment opportunities. Vendoo was able to secure its first investor from one of Dzime-Assison's previous connections. 

"For the first three years of doing this, we weren’t paying ourselves anything, and we were spending our own money to build the platform, travel, and do all the things it takes to incorporate a business," Dzime-Assison said.

Vendoo raised $300,000 in venture capital at the end of 2019. This initial funding helped the fledgling company build out its team to 16 employees, and allowed all staff to work full-time without focusing on other careers.

While this was a big win for the company, Dzime-Assison said he and his team continued to face difficulties when banks often seemed reluctant to offer assistance as they were opening their first business accounts. 

"Naturally, they were skeptical because we didn’t look the part, and banks weren’t expecting people like us to come in to deposit that kind of money," he said. 

Ultimately, Dzime-Assison said these hurdles benefited Vendoo, as customers in the reselling industry gravitated toward them to support a company led by people of color.

"We had a lot of challenges being four minorities, especially four young minorities and first-time founders."

Vendoo also does a lot of philanthropic work to give back to communities. Last year, the company matched donations from its users to support organizations advocating for police reform in the wake of the death of George Floyd. 

Over this next year, Vendoo also wants to expand its operations outside of the US, with its eyes currently set on Canada. Dzime-Assison said the company is closely watching the data to see which other countries would be a good fit, based on requests for its software platform. 

"In the end, we’re working on expanding our visibility and what we can offer to our users," Dzime-Assison concluded.

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