3. June 2013–
At Sunday's hy! Berlin event, mobile second-hand marketplace Stylemarks launched its iOS-only app after two months in Deutsche Telekom's Berlin incubator, Hubraum. In February, the startup received funding from Hubraum, Venista Ventures and Family's Venture Capital, to the tune of a "mid-level six-digit euro sum".
The app has a clean design and, similarly to fellow German mobile marketplace Stuffle, doesn't offer product filters via search functions. Unlike these two competitors, however, at the moment only a select group of German vintage and second-hand shops can upload their products on the app – it's not open to the public, though users can apply to become sellers. Stylemarks currently has over 30 different sellers online, who, in a bid to win over mistrusting buyers, only get paid once their products are received by the buyer.
Stylemarks claims to have gathered a community of more than 10,000 users pre-launch, who are kept engaged by features of bloggers, designers and celebrities every week.
Asked how Stylemarks will stand out in a very crowded market, founder Oliver Bronner told us: "Our focus is mainly on quality product liquidity. We believe, if the platform has a continuous flow of unique products, demand will follow... Our secret sauce is the combination of curation and community. We are bringing people with a passion for design together and letting the community be a part of the sourcing process."
Stylemarks' target audience are "young urban females and males in their twenties... who are looking for alternatives to mainstream commerce, along with people who live in small villages or the countryside who do not have access to great design products," Bronner said.
As one of the first companies to launch out of Hubraum Berlin, alongside book summarising app Blinkist, it's now time to see if the corporate incubator is capable of selecting and helping build successful companies.
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