A rare comic book, a beautiful necklace from Rome, an Oriental carpet, historical coins, a vintage car; tens of thousands of diverse rare and unique objects can be found on Catawiki.nl. These objects are auctioned online daily, 50,000 lots per week. Catawiki developed into a leading Internet company in Europe, partly thanks to support from the NOM. The platform now attracts 14 million visitors a month.
It all started with the comic book collection of René Schoenmakers, one of the founders of Catawiki. He noticed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find special comic books. Thus was born the idea for Catawiki, a catalog for collectors. Together with associate Marco Jansen, he started Catawiki in 2008 in the proverbial attic room.
In 2010, NOM invested in Catawiki, together with other parties with specific experience in the IT and Internet industry. Soon Schoenmakers & Jansen noticed that the collectors' platform attracted many loyal visitors. With such a fast-growing community, the time was ripe to introduce an auction model, first in the Netherlands and Belgium, and later beyond. The flying start continued: Catawiki became the fastest growing technology company in Europe. Twice, renowned international investment companies joined Catawiki.
Art & Kitsch
Catawiki now appeals to a much broader audience beyond the original group of collectors, with more and more people coming to the platform looking for something special, something that fits their identity or lifestyle.
Something special in a world full of standard products from Ikea, Mc Donalds and H&M. So will vendors' items be inspected as extensively as we see on the program Between Art and Kitsch? "We employ 185 local auctioneers, all with their own expertise. The valuation of the products is done online, so the seller may be in Spain and the expert in the Netherlands. Ample time is set aside for this; for determining the quality and possibly looking at certificates. Furthermore, precisely because we operate in many countries, we hold our customers' payments as a guarantee. So that the purchased object is first received in good order."
People want to express their identity. Catawiki's unique objects provide that
The cradle of Catawiki was in Assen, but there has also been a large branch in Amsterdam for years. It is easier to find twenty people who speak Italian in Amsterdam than in Assen. There are also offices in England, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. That fits in with our mission to grow even further, particularly within Europe. Despite our efforts to work more and more efficiently, we now have a team of 500 employees.
There is competition for Catawiki, though. "There are certainly other sites where you can find special objects, but they usually have one specialty. Catawiki has more than 900 different auction categories, so all kinds of special, special, objects can be found with us. Just that one piece of jewelry from Paris, for example.
Everyone has more and more of the same, standard items. We really offer something with which you can distinguish yourself, internationally moreover, and you don't have to leave your house for it!"