Two former senior executives form eBay Europe have joined forces to secure a significant angel round for their online shoe store which hopes to become the ‘Zappos of Switzerland’.
Valentin Cogels (previously Senior Manager Europe International Expansion at eBay) and Matthias Fröhlicher (previously Advertising Revenue Optimization Manager Europe also at eBay) raised 460,000 Swiss Francs in a seed round for Koala.ch, lead by Kima Ventures, which put in 250,000 Swiss Francs, and the difference a friends and family round.
Is this the Zappos of Europe? No, but it is an attempt to become the Zappos of Switzerland. The online shoe market in Europe is very crowded with the French Spartoo and Sarenza, and the German Zalando. As Valentin Cogels put it to me “What makes Switzerland so special is that it is a great niche market with above average revenues and spend levels, and protected borders from the rest of Europe.”
Switzerland was an early player in online ecommerce with leshop.ch, the first grocery website in Europe, but since then it has lagged, especially in Clothes/Shoes/Accessories, where Koala.ch aims to play.
Admittedly Koala.ch is a clone or ‘copycat’ as Europeans like to call them, but they tell me they have a few tricks up their sleeves.
The site is developed on Magento.