JUNIQE, Europe’s leading marketplace for curated art from around the world, has raised €14m in an investment round led by Highland Europe, alongside previous investors Vorwerk Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds and Redalpine.
From wall art to zeitgeist lifestyle products, JUNIQE connects artists and designers with individuals who are looking to express their personal style and passion for art. Launched in 2014, the Berlin-based startup already ships to thirteen countries across Europe, generating over 40% of its revenue outside Germany. Following year-on-year revenue growth of 500% in 2015, co-founders Lea Lange, Marc Pohl and Sebastian Hasebrink expect a threefold increase in revenues this year, meaning that JUNIQE is on track to becoming Europe’s market-leading online destination for curated and design-led art.
The founding team plan to use the investment primarily to underpin further growth and expansion across the European market and double-down on investments in technology and product, to offer the best and most effective toolkit for artists and art lovers alike.
“We believe there is extraordinary potential for growth in the European market, as illustrated by our experience in France”, says JUNIQE co-founder and Managing Director Lea Lange. “It was only last autumn that we launched in France, on juniqe.fr, and not even a year later, we are generating over 15% of our revenue from the French market.”
“Wherever JUNIQE launches a new domain, we are greeted by fans, who are passionate about discovering artists and designers from all over the world, and feel empowered to express their individuality through our curated art and lifestyle products.”
“JUNIQE has a huge market opportunity to become Europe’s leading player in curated art and design for the home sector”, says Irena Goldenberg, Partner at Highland Europe, JUNIQE’s lead investors, who not only have a long track-record in identifying German startups with strong market potential, including eGym, Adjust and Finanzcheck, but were early backers of two category-defining print-on-demand companies, Vistaprint (NASDAQ: CMPR) and PhotoBox.
“JUNIQE is breaking boundaries and helping reshape our traditional understanding of contemporary art”, says Irena Goldenberg. “As a result, it’s revolutionising the European online art market by helping grow a new segment for popular art and design. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help write JUNIQE’s success story and support their expansion across Europe.”
Aside from the focus on international, sustainable growth, JUNIQE’s leadership team will use the investment to ensure its customers receive an evermore personalised shopping experience. In the future, art enthusiasts will be able to discover and shop for their favourite designs, using an interactive tool which will enable them to see what their choices will look like when they are up on a wall - before making the final decision on which artwork to purchase. In addition, they will also receive a more immersive shopping experience that is curated and built around their specific taste.
The brand is also heavily focused on inviting its customers to be a part of JUNIQE’s growing creative community, adds Lea Lange. “The impact of our curated collections, social media and editorial magazine on how individuals experience and purchase art online is huge. We tell the stories behind our artists and their designs to inspire our customers with creative content.” Whether they are at home or on the go, the community is increasingly engaged in JUNIQE’s content, with more than 55% of the platform’s traffic now being generated from mobile devices.
JUNIQE is the Berlin-based online destination for eclectic, popular wall art, fashion, living and home products. Founded in January 2014 by Lea Lange, Sebastian Hasebrink and Marc Pohl, the online store has experienced rapid growth since first going live. Today, the team consists of over 60 art-obsessed and creative e-Commerce professionals. Through 7 localised domains JUNIQE delivers art and lifestyle products to 13 different countries across Europe, and is working on expanding to many more.
JUNIQE has made it its mission to make exciting and popular art available to everyone, with the vision ‘Art. Everywhere’. Every week, a hand-picked selection of emerging artists from around the world is invited to sell their work in the online store. The community of over 600 artists includes names such as Ruben Ireland, Ale Giorgini and Leigh Viner.
By telling the artists’ stories and curating collections on a regular basis, JUNIQE empowers its customers to add art to their lives and inspires them to express their individuality. In addition to wall art, the designs are also available on select apparel, living and home products.
About Highland Europe
Highland Europe is exclusively focused on Growth Stage internet, mobile and software businesses. Launched in 2012 and with over €580m ($640m) in Assets Under Management across two funds, the firm’s origins were as the European operations of Highland Capital Partners, a US VC firm. Highland Europe is based in London and Geneva and its current portfolio includes MatchesFashion.com, WeTransfer, GetYourGuide, eGym, NewVoiceMedia, and Malwarebytes among many others.
For more information, visit Highland’s website at http://www.highlandeurope.com/