DaWanda, Europe’s biggest online marketplace for unique and handmade items, has just launched in Spain. DaWanda will also officially launch in Poland and Italy within the next two weeks. In doing so, the Berlin-based company will have expanded into five new countries within just a few months. Every location has its own newly recruited Country Manager.
DaWanda has been busy creating these localised sites and acquiring local designers over the past few months. More than 500.000 products in total are already offered for sale by designers from France, Spain, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands. The Country Managers, with the help of up to 10 full-time locally-based employees at present, will now push forward with entering their respective markets. DaWanda is celebrating the launch of the new platforms with big offline events in each country.
Claudia Helming (founder & CEO of DaWanda) stated: “Our clearly established goal is market leadership in each of these new countries,” she continued: “So of course strong leadership on site plays a very important role. All markets are now in the hands of experts hailing from well-known European e-commerce companies.”
Alberto Lorente, formerly Country Manager of Skype in Spain, takes the lead in Madrid. Meanwhile in Warsaw, Marcin Szalek, former Managing Director of Groupon Poland, is at the helm. In The Netherlands Sophie van Rooij is moving from Marktplaats, a company in the eBay Group, to DaWanda. And Violette Watine, founder of the on- and offline organic cosmetics company Mademoiselle Bio, is already leading the Paris team.
“For our business model to be successful in Europe in the long term, it is essential that we devise a tailored approach for each country,” says Claudia Helming. “The significance of handmade on the one hand, and of social commerce on the other hand, varies from market to market, sometimes considerably. A homogeneous approach towards designers and buyers, or a single European leadership, would hardly lead to success.”
In Spain, for example, the local Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has identified over 190,000 designers who are self-employed full-time. But only five percent of them are already selling online. “We provide an additional perspective for creative people in our country, who are struggling in the face of the current economic climate,” says Alberto Lorente, Country Manager of DaWanda Spain. “We give them access to two million potential buyers across the whole of Europe – and all without risk or high initial investment.”
DaWanda was founded in 2006 by Claudia Helming and Michael Pütz. Today, the marketplace has around 2 million active members and generates over 8.8 million visits per month.