Kima Ventures and stellar business-angels from Europe invest in unique goods marketplace MartMania

March 25, 2013

Mart Mania, that works directly with the manufacturers of unique designer things and sells goods that can’t be purchased in retail stores, has received investment from well-known international business angels. The money will be spent to boost marketing activities and development in Russia and the CIS.

The list of investors includes several star names. First of all, it includes Kima Ventures, one of Europe's leading venture capital funds, which is known for investing around the world in 1-2 projects per week, but not a frequent investor in  Russian startups. Also in the list are Fabrice Grinda, former top executive of OLX and a famous American business angel, who regularly invests in copycats of successful international projects that start in the emerging markets, and Jose Marin (Serendipity Investments), who also frequently invests in a copycats mainly in the Spanish and Latin American markets and has invested in 38 projects at an early stage. The Russian capital is represented by a well-known Russian business angel Alexander Aivazov, CEO of the Nord Capital Group, who has been interested in projects in the field of e-commerce for a long time.

"We were attracted to MartMania not only by high potential of the Russian e-commerce market in unique goods segment, but also by tested and successful business model. Kima Ventures had previously invested into similar model in Europe via a company called Dawanda.  We entered in an early stage of the company and that was a good investment for us. We expect the Mart Mania's management to strengthen its position as a leader of the market of unusual and unique goods in Russia", - says Jeremie Berrebi, CEO of Kima Ventures.

MartMania, based in Novosibirsk,Russia was one of the few projects in the ex-USSR area, that managed to get a significant investment from major international business angels. Selling of unusual things is a very promising and growing trend in the international market, and the Mart Mania's creators are following in the footsteps of the leading companies in this segment - American Bonanza and Etsy and European DaWanda. The project was founded by Eugene Ivanov and Sofia Goldberg, who previously had successful experience with e-commerce and dealing with high-load services. It is a member of business accelerator TexDrive, which is now a part of Genezis Capital venture fund that helped to establish links with the international investors.

TexDrive founders Maxim Shekhovtsov and Alexander Zhurba recently launched venture fund called Genezis Capital. The fund will invest from $25K to $1 mln per deal on seed stage and up to $20 mln per deal on growth stage. 70% of investments will be made into companies from IT industry and the Fund declares interest to other sectors including biotech, clean technologies, alternative energy and robotics. Genezis will work not only in Russia, but will also invest in the US, European and Asian technology businesses.  

More than 600 stores posted more than 8 500 different items for sale through MartMania in March of 2013. MartMania charges 10% sales commission on all sales through its platform. The average sale (check) of MartMania as of March 2013 was 2000 Russian Roubles (65.6 USD). Share in MartMania under management of  Genezis Capital grew in value 10 times during 2012-2013.

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