Internet Ventures FIZ, an MCI Management Group fund whose shareholders include the National Capital Fund, has acquired a minority stake in MyBaze Sp. z o.o.(MyBaze.com), an online platform integrating designers, artists and young brands in the design industry.The fund will finance the Company’s geographical expansion up to the amount of PLN 4 million.The current financing round also involves the Company’s existing shareholder, a Slovenian fund Meta Ingenium, družba tveganega kapitala, d.o.o. (Meta Ingenium), part of the international group Zernike Meta – Ventures (which is present also in Poland), which manages funds investing in innovative projects at an early stage of development.
MyBaze.com is a marketplace platform focused on design, art and fashion. This is the place which on the one hand allows artists and designers to promote their products and provides sales and marketing support, and on the other hand enables platform users to access a unique product offer from selected sellers. MyBaze.com platform wins Polish and foreign designers, extends the product range for customers from Poland and abroad and develops a design-oriented community.
Currently, the revenues of MyBaze.com come mainly from the commission on the sale of products offered on the platform. Soon the range of monetisation sources of the platform will be extended to include, among others, commission on “premium” positioning of selected shops and products, commission on the flash sales orders (sale of products at an attractive discount, limited in time) and professional support for artists and designers in gaining financing for running their own projects.
-There are many American and European platforms focused on crafts and vintage which have been operating for years. We are the only platform in the world focused on design from carefully selected young brands. The customer is all that counts to us, and it is for the customer that we run styling and sales campaigns. What’s important is that we ensure transaction service that is fast and effective so that unique products from designers reach the customer on time – said Duc Vu Hoang, CEO of MyBaze.com. –Developing an international platform with designers and users from many countries is going to be a great challenge. We have at our disposal both technology and know-how to reach a sufficient number of young brands and customers in a short time and to make transactions in all currencies and in any language. At present we already make transactions in 6 currencies and 2 languages.
Internet Ventures FIZ decided to invest in the Company because of its scalable business model and high-quality management team who want to develop platform utility, intensify marketing in foreign markets and to increase the scale of operation by opening the platform to cross-border transactions.
In the assessment of the Fund, MyBaze.com has necessary competence to replicate the success of companies such as DaWanda and Etsy and become a regional leader in the category of the marketplace for design, art and fashion.
– Both in Poland and in the region there is room for a dynamic international online service in the segment of design products which will attract users with the help of a range of high quality products from selected designers, – said Tomasz Danis, who manages Internet Ventures FIZ. –MyBaze.com’s mode of operation enables catering for more and more sophisticated tastes of consumers looking for unique products. The platform both fosters the development of the domestic and European market of fashion, art and industrial design and offers a wide range of possibilities of additional monetisation as part of added services.
MyBaze.com operates in the e-commerce market, where the average growth rate is from 20% to 30% per year, according to Internet Standard’s analysis. The Polish market of internet shops is considerably fragmented. About 1/3 of online shops sells products from the home and garden category while every fifth sells clothes. Many young and original designers do not have sales and online marketing knowledge. On the other hand, a noticeable growth of customer awareness of independent brands and a change of consumer behaviour are taking place; more and more customers shop outside of large retailer chains and in the category of “non-mass” brands. In the MyBaze.com’s assessment, there are over 800,000 designers (in fashion, art, design) active in the European market, who generate annual sales of about EUR 30 – 35 billion. European products enjoy great popularity both in the USA and in the Far East (China, South Korea and Japan).
The investment in MyBaze.com is carried out together with the National Capital Fund (NCF), which is a co-shareholder of several venture capital investment funds and in this capacity supports investment into young Polish companies encountering significant hurdles in terms of their financing possibilities due to the fact that they are at an early operational development stage and their economic results are uncertain.