The discussion regarding copycats of US startups in europe is still an ongoing one, and largely due to the fact that the copycats are often heartless rip-offs. DaWanda, a marketplace for DIY goods, took the successful concept of Etsy, which was founded in 2005, to Europe and has since then grown into a company with 65 employees and 1,9 million products for sale.
But in contrast to other “clones” in Europe, DaWanda does not deserve such a comparison, since they’ve managed to build a unique and individual style and community. Neither from a design perspective nor from a strategic one. With 120,000 designers on the site the company just announced that they’ve raised € 4 million in their latest round of financing. They are using the financial boost to develop and strengthen their international presence, with a focus on France. Those providing the capital are newly won investor Vorwerk Ventures, and existing shareholder Piton Capital. It’s an early birthday present for the designer marketplace, which was founded in 2006 and will be five years old in December.
Until now, DaWanda has been based in Berlin and plans to open up offices in Paris and other European countries in order to shape their local communities and drive sales through local events. No word on whether the startup plans to expand to the US, but at this point is highly unlikely since DaWanda is already market leader in Europe where lots of countries are still lacking such a service and thus the startup is facing little competition.
The startup hit profitability in 2010 and since then managed to increase its turnover every year. Existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures, Team Europe Ventures, The European Founders Fund and Point Nine Capital remain shareholders. Interestingly, when Etsy raised $20million in its series E round, the investors included Hubert Burda Media and Acton Capital Partners – both german investors.