There’s probably hundreds of sites out there that are trying to sell customized things on the web. MyMuesli, a successful and still growing German startup was one of the first ones in that field and they paved the way for these types of e-commerce websites. Furthermore they showed that there is apparently a demand for pricey yet customizable cereals.
Chocri, a site for mass-customization of chocolate coming out of Germany and until now privately funded, has managed to establish a partnership with one of Europe’s leading chocolate manufacturers, Ritter Sport. For both parties such a collaboration makes sense. Chocri gets to benefit from Ritter Sport’s deep understanding and knowledge of chocolate production (and eventually know-how how to reduce their production cost and expand sales with an established sales force), while its new partner gains access to the growing market of online food order and customization.
Chocri has been around since 2008 and is currently selling approximately 30,000 pieces of customized chocolate over the Internet. That brings in roughly €2 million in revenue – an impressive figure for a non-funded startup. This has also probably been the reason for Ritter Sport to strategically partner with them. There has been no disclosure of or how high any financial investment is, yet having such a partner in terms of expertise and salesforce, is probably worth much more than a plain cash injection.
As of today the company is also launching their UK property as a first step in their European expansion plans. Although there are already various competitors in Germany, mass customization has not yet really reached the UK.