HomeGermany-StartupsDaWanda continues its international expansion

DaWanda continues its international expansion

DaWanda, one of Europe’s biggest online marketplaces 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, with every location being headed by a newly recruited Country Manager. DaWanda is celebrating the launch of these new platforms with big offline events in each country.

DaWanda has been busy creating localised sites and acquiring local designers over the past few months. More than 500,000 products are already being advertised by designers from France, Spain, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands on the platform. The Country Managers, with the help of up to 10 full-time and locally-based employees, will now push forward with entering their respective markets.

Claudia Helming, the founder and CEO of DaWanda, stated: “Our clearly established goal is market leadership in each of these new countries. 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. Similarly, 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 5% 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.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).
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