1. December 2011–
DaWanda, Europe’s biggest online marketplace for unique and handmade items, has announced a financial boost of 4 million euros provided by newly-won investor Vorwerk Ventures and existing shareholder Piton Capital. It’s huge news for the Berlin-based designer marketplace, which since its founding in 2006, has already managed to acquire 1.5 million registered users and a bustling web presence in German, French, and English.
But you won’t find any news of the recent inheritance on DaWanda’s blog. Instead, you’ll catch up with “the lovely Kristina, aka krize,” one of DaWanda’s 120,000 designers, who sells “animal-inspired pieces” and needs a “calm and inspiring ambience to create.” In a firsthand, photo-studded interview, DaWanda asks her: How has your life changed since you opened your DaWanda shop? Her answer: “It opened the possibility for me to share my art with European people. Thanks to DaWanda many of my bunnies are traveling with their owners in Germany, France, Austria, GB and other countries.”
This personal, community-based approach to e-commerce is what makes Dawanda so successful and attractive to investors. “We invest in online companies with strong network effects,” says Piton Capital partner Andrin Bachmann, in a prepared statement. “These could be marketplaces or large communities. DaWanda combines both.” Forging a path away from industrialised mass production, DaWanda offers a hub for users to meet and sell handmade, one-of-a-kind fashion and household items with other arts and crafts-minded people.
Thanks to the recent financial boost, krize’s bunnies might be travelling even farther. Joining Holtzbrinck Ventures, Team Europe, (also a shareholder of Gründerszene/ VentureVillage), The European Founders Fund and Point Nine Capital, this latest round of funding marks high confidence in the DIY marketplace. Up until now, DaWanda GmbH has been based in Berlin. With the recent changes, there’s talk of opening offices in France and other target markets across Europe.
With more than 1.9 million products for sale, and ca. 20,000 new products added daily, DaWanda’s network continues to grow.“When we started out five years ago, no one believed that handmade products could find a home outside of niche markets,” says Claudia Helming, founder and CEO of DaWanda GmbH, in a prepared statement. “More than any other, we have worked to change the perception of handmade items across Germany, and as such we have created a completely new market.”