DaWanda, Europe's largest online marketplace for handmade items, today announced a significant investment from New York-based investor Insight Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm focused on investing in the global software and e-commerce industries. In addition to providing fresh capital for growth financing, Insight has purchased secondary shares held by existing investors, all of whom remain committed to DaWanda. "We are confident that with the help of Insight we will greatly accelerate our international growth while continuing to innovate and develop our marketplace," said Claudia Helming, DaWanda's founder and CEO. "With the investment by an experienced global investor like Insight, DaWanda’s position in Europe is considerably strengthened.”
Specialists in Expansion Financing
Insight Venture Partners is a growth-oriented venture capital firm with focus on software and Internet investments. Insight’s current portfolio companies that have similar business models and growth trajectories to DaWanda’s include consumer-orientated companies such as Twitter,Tumblr and Photobox, as well as German industry giant Trivago, and the coupon site DailyDeal, which was recently acquired by Google, Inc.
"We concentrate on companies on the verge of attaining extraordinary success, providing them with the tools and resources needed to reach the next level”, said Jeffrey Lieberman, managing director of Insight Venture Partners“In DaWanda we have found the company with the best chance of winning in Europe and establishing itself as the clear market leader. Our dedicated internal value-creation team looks forward to sharing the best practices we have developed through our near twenty years of experience working with similar technology-based companies."
Personnel increase in full swing
Insight’s investment follows on the heels of a four million financing round in November 2011. DaWanda has made significant progress since then, expanding the number of employees from 60 to over 90 with additional hires planned. DaWanda is also preparing to open the first of its international branches in Paris, with other locations slated to follow later in the year. As part of the transaction, Brad Twohig, vice president at Insight will join DaWanda’s Board of Directors, alongside existing company directors and management.
DaWanda is the online marketplace for unique and handmade products. Going against the grain of industrialised mass production, DaWanda provides a meeting point for people who know how to appreciate the special qualities of unique and handmade items, and are interested in buying fashion, jewellery and home items. At www.dawanda.com, around 130,000 designers offer over 2 million products for sale, with ca. 7,000 new products added daily. DaWanda was founded by Claudia Helming and Michael Pütz in December 2006, and today has around 1.7 million members. The company is based in Berlin. In studies undertaken by the German language Startup-Monitor of ethority GmbH & Co.KG, DaWanda was elected several times as the favourite startup of internet users.
About Insight Venture Partners
Founded in New York in 1995, Insight Venture Partners is a leading growth-oriented, entrepreneur-focused private equity and venture capital firm focused on expansion and late stage investments in the global software, Internet and data services industries. Insight’s team is composed of experienced investors and operating executives with more than 150 years of collective experience in its focal industries. With over $5 billion raised since its inception and a large network of technology experts, Insight provides strong support and consulting expertise to its portfolio companies. In 2009, Insight was named among the Top Ten VCs Globally by Red Herring Magazine.