A group of investors led by the American Accel Partners is investing 10 million euros in the international expansion of the fast-growing online auction house Catawiki. That was reported by the Dagblad van het Noorden. ‘This is something very special. Accel is investing in the Netherlands for the first time and in Assen of all places!” says René Schoenmakers, who founded Catawiki together with Marco Jansen, in the newspaper article.
Catawiki, a participating interest of the Investment and Development Company for the Northern Netherlands (NOM) was founded as a platform for collectors in 2008. Since 2011 the company has been organizing weekly auctions in 35 categories: from postage stamps to vintage cars and from memorabilia to rare wines. These auctions, led by professional auctioneers, result in articles changing hands for tens of millions of euros a year.
Accel Partners has never previously invested in a Dutch company. It did however invest at an early stage in outstandingly successful global internet companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, Angry Birds and Spotify. “Accel only invests in companies with a huge amount of potential”, says Schoenmakers. To be certain that Catawiki meets this criterion the investment company turned the company completely inside-out before deciding to invest.
With the support of Accel Partners Schoenmakers expects Catawiki to grow much faster than it is doing at present. The company is currently employing 75 people and has a further 67 vacancies. According to the founder that’s just the start: ‘The whole world is opening up to us’, is how he puts it. ‘Everything’s possible now, the sky’s the limit.’
To help with the expansion process the German Project A, which is another investor in Catawiki, is sending a world-class marketing team to Catawiki’s headquarters in Assen. Catawiki is hoping to attract the rest of the personnel it needs to conquer the world as much as possible in the Northern Netherlands.
Jeroen van Onna, Investment Manager NOM Finance: ‘Catawiki has done a great job. When we invested the earning model looked very different. Now, 4 years later, Catawiki is turning a profit and its success can be rolled out en masse with the aid of the world’s very best players.
Source: Dagblad van het Noorden/NV NOM