Foreign VC-backed funding enables Dutch start-up to scale-up direct-to-consumer marketplace
Productpine – the successful online shopping platform enabling brands to sell products directly to consumers – is pleased to announce it has raised € 2.5 million in a funding round led by Acequia Capital from the US and NFQ Capital from Germany.
A number of co-investors – such as TechFund One, Kaas Ventures and primeCROWD – participated in the Seed-round in support of Productpine’s growth ambitions. Several private investors joined the funding round as well, such as Stefan van den Berg (founder of Afterpay), Kalo Bagijn (founder of BinckBank and Brand New Day), Patrick Andrae (founder of HomeToGo), Justin Hwa (Head of Commerce Innovations at eBay) and Arnoud Aalbersberg (founder of Care Plus), as well as existing investors, such as Hans Schröder, former partner of Provast.
This investment enables Productpine to scale up its platform and onboard new brands. Over 90 international brands such as Sonos, Tile, Klipsch, Matt Sleeps, Ekster and Yale have already joined Productpine’s marketplace. More than 600 brands are on the waiting list.
Productpine was launched in 2019 as an online shopping marketplace by three young Dutch entrepreneurs, Camiel van Dooren, Vincent Hulshoff and Dimitar Maslarov, enabling brands to start their own shops as an extension of their direct-to-consumer channel, in order to sell products directly to consumers.
This direct interaction with consumers has numerous benefits: brands can generate higher margins, remain in full control of their brands, and have access to valuable insights about customers’ preferences.
Moreover, until now a lot of brands have advertised via Facebook and Google, which is very costly; advertisement fees are increasing by 90 per cent annually. Thanks to the technology of Productpine, brands are able to collaborate through the platform and share advertising costs, resulting in savings of up to 75 per cent.
Online platform for direct-to-consumer brands
High advertising costs are a serious bottleneck for brands and hamper the growth of their direct-to-consumer channels.
For many brands, direct-to-consumer sales are much too costly and, as a consequence, consumers are prevented from discovering their products. With the support of experts from the e-commerce industry, we have built an online shopping platform powered by the latest technology.states Camiel van Dooren, CEO and co-founder of Productpine.
With our marketplace, we help brands to collaborate in an easy and scalable way. They are able to share advertising costs, enabling them to remain in control of their brand and to offer consumers a seamless shopping experience.
We help brands to act independently from online advertising channels, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, and generate profitable growth.
The international funding round of the successful young Dutch start-up is led by Acequia Capital, the US-based investor behind Pinterest, Wish, Square and Classpass, and NFQ Capital, a German party that has invested in GoStudent and Shipbob.
A cross-border funding round like this is quite unique in this early stage of a company.explains Van Dooren.
We are very excited that such major foreign investors are behind us and that existing, as well as new private investors, believe in Productpine.
In addition to capital that enables us to scale-up our platform, this funding round offers us lot of knowledge and expertise from highly renowned investors, which will help us to realise our goals”.
Market with a lot of growth potential
While Productpine attracts new customers through its marketplace, brands are attracting new external customers thanks to the smart features of the platform; they generate additional traffic by referring consumers to Productpine’s platform by email or other (social) channels.
Consumers visiting the platform mostly buy products of several different brands. Productpine encourages cross-selling through a smart recommendation engine, enabling brands to strengthen each other through the platform. Moreover, Productpine guarantees a fair distribution of costs.
As a result, brands are able to save on advertising costs, while consumers can discover the newest products of several brands – without intermediaries and at the lowest prices. With this unique proposition, Productpine anticipates developments in the e-commerce market, where brands are shifting their focus to the direct-to-consumer channel.
The direct-to-consumer market represents an annual growth of over 29 per cent. Until now, brands had only two options, with a lot of negative side-effects.continues Van Dooren.
They could sell products through retailers, which means they would lose control over the presentation of their brand and would have to remit on their margins.
Or they could try to sell products through traditional marketplaces, where they would have to compete with other resellers. When using our platform, they are fully in control and can interact directly with consumers without having to remit high margins.