Demet Mutlu, the founder of Turkey’s largest fashion e-commerce platform and the first tech unicorn, dropped out of Harvard Business School’s MBA programme in 2009 to launch Trendyol. Since then, Trendyol has scaled to become the largest fashion e-commerce site in Turkey and MENA region, with more than 200 million site visits a month and over 16 million customers. In 2018, China’s Alibaba Group became a major shareholder through a $750 million investment.
Mutlu studied at New York University, where she graduated with the highest GPA in the economics department. She spent time working in brand management for companies such as Altria, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, before beginning her MBA at Harvard Business School in 2008. After discovering Turkey’s online shopping potential, Mutlu dropped out of Harvard to start Trendyol, bootstrapping $300,000 of her own funds to launch the fashion portal.
Trendyol does 60 percent of all online fashion sales in Turkey, working with over 2000 brands via its marketplace and offering its own private labels. The site currently has over 16 million customers, reporting an annual growth of over 100 percent.
An advocate for entrepreneurship , Mutlu has co-founded and invested in Peak Games and several other tech companies globally. She is part of the Young Global Leaders World Economic Forum. Her business acumen has garnered her international recognition — Mutlu attended the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos while still in her 20s and in 2016 was named a Young Global Leader by the WEF.