Crowdfunding platform Bergfürst announces first startup: Urbanara


Crowdfunding platform Bergfürst has announced it will be hosting its first company – Berlin-based startup Urbanara.


Urbanara founders Benjamin Esser, Claire Davidson and Martin von Wenckstern

Founded in 2010, Urbanara is a home living e-retailer. It plans to raise €3m on the crowdfunding platform, with the campaign launching on 12 September. According to Bergfürst, this would make it the biggest crowd investment in Europe so far.

Urbanara offers customers discounted prices, as it buys items wholesale from 150 producers in 25 countries, claiming it hosts 2500 articles in 30 different categories. The e-retailer is in competition with established German companies Strauss Innovation, Butlers and Depot.

In 2012, the company received a €3.5m Series A funding round from previous investors Grazia Equity (Germany) and B-to-V Partners (Switzerland), and new investor Blumberg Capital (US).

Along with providing companies with a platform to gain crowdfunding, Bergfürst also contributes its own funds. Investors can buy shares for a minimum investment of €250, with Bergfürst charging €5 per transaction when shares are sold or bought on the trade platform.

Talking to Manager Magazin, Urbanara head Benjamin Esser said: “For us, crowdinvesting was the ideal complement to traditional VC funding. Urbanara is definitely too young for a classical share floatation.” The funding round will be used to expand its provider network, optimise its offering and keep the prices constant.

Explaining its choice of company, Bergfürst wrote on its site that Urbanara is a young, high growth business that has a proof of concept, which means it is not as risky as other early-stage companies.

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