“Crucial factors in choosing which countries we will expand into were the size of the online market, respectively its growth potential. Furthermore, we also took into consideration the prominence of DIY (do it yourself) culture in respective countries. And last but not least, the potential for achieving market leadership in a short period of time. Based on these factors, the Netherlands is a very attractive market for us,” DaWanda co-founder and CEO Claudia Helming told VentureVillage via email.
“There is a great demand for unique products that are handmade rather than industrially mass-produced, but no outlet that caters to this demand sufficiently,” new DaWanda country manager for the Netherlands Sophie von Rooij said in a release yesterday.
The platform is now available in German, English, French and Dutch. A new office will be set up in Amsterdam with a local team of at least seven, including a few new hires. Dutch designers will be able to sell their products in their native language to a Dutch audience, as well as on DaWanda’s other language platforms.
Helming and co-founder Michael Pütz (pictured above) started DaWanda in 2006. Since then, the platform has grown to around two million registered members, with about 150,000 designers offering over two million goods for sale.
DaWanda secured a eight-figure sum of new funding from New York’s Insight Venture Partners in April, with the new investor taking a 35 per cent stake. Other investors include Piton Capital, Vorwerk, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Team Europe (also a shareholder in VentureVillage), the European Founders Fund and Point Nine Capital.
Competitors for DaWanda in Europe include Etsy, which started up with a similar concept in the US in mid-2005 and now has an office in Berlin.
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