The round was led by US-based venture capital firm Acequia Capital, and Germany-based NFQ Capital. Additionally, a number of co-investors such as TechFund One, Kaas Ventures and primeCROWD, and existing investors, including Hans Schröder, former partner of Provast, also participated in this round.
Several private investors also joined in, including Stefan van den Berg, founder of Afterpay, Kalo Bagijn, founder of BinckBank and Brand New Day, Justin Hwa, head of commerce innovations at eBay, Patrick Andrä, founder of HomeToGo, and Arnoud Aalbersberg, founder of Care Plus.
Productpine claims that the proceeds from this round will help scale up its platform and onboard new brands. The company’s marketplace has already been joined by over 90 international brands such as Sonos, Tile, Klipsch, Matt Sleeps, Ekster, and Yale. More than 600 brands are on the waiting list, says the company.
Productpine’s co-founder Camiel Van Dooren says, “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 a lot of knowledge and expertise from highly renowned investors, which will help us to realise our goals.”
A single platform that makes direct-to-consumer sales efficient
Founded in 2019 by Camiel van Dooren, Vincent Hulshoff and Dimitar Maslarov, Productpine provides a direct-to-consumer channel with an aim to help brands to sell their products directly to consumers.
This direct interaction with consumers has various benefits. Brands can generate higher margins, remain in full control of their brands and have access to valuable insights about customers’ preferences. Until now, a lot of brands have advertised via Facebook and Google, which is costly – advertisement fees are increasing by 90 per cent annually.
Camiel van Dooren says, “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. With our marketplace, we help brands to act independently from online advertising channels, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, and generate profitable growth.”
Productpine claims that it helps brands to collaborate through its platform and share advertising costs, which results in savings of up to 75 per cent.
Market growth potential
Besides gaining customers through Productpine’s marketplace, brands also attract new customers through the company’s platform wherein it refers customers through 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, the company also guarantees a fair distribution of costs. This helps brands save on advertising costs, while consumers can discover the newest products of several brands at the lowest prices.
Productpine predicts that brands are now shifting their focus to the direct-to-consumer channel. Van Dooren says, “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. 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.”