Seven-figure funding for JUNIQE the e-commerce website for affordable art
Juniqe is a success story. The online gallery only launched at the beginning of the year but has already secured a seven-figure funding round from investors just five months in. There is great demand for affordable art and Juniqe meets this demand by delivering curated art at affordable prices. The curated selection of eclectic images really appeals to customers, as does the option of purchasing these images as framed prints, T-shirts, smartphone cases and home accessories. The business model challenges the traditional role of art consumption by making art affordable for everyone.
“Our experience over the last few months has been very positive. We can report a substantial six-figure turnover per month and monthly growth of between 60 and 70 percent” says Lea Lange. The three founders Lea Lange, Marc Pohl and Sebastian Hasebrink know what art lovers and design enthusiasts have been waiting for: a hand-picked selection of exciting, young artists, original images and an outstanding product portfolio which includes bed linen, cushions and stationery. High-quality, affordable products, above-average customer service, and a visually appealing website design make shopping at Juniqe a novel experience.
Investors Redalpine, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the German Startups Group are convinced of the business model. Chiara Sommer from HTGF says: “The founding team has the relevant skills and experience to position Juniqe as the No. 1 retailer in the field of affordable art. The performance of the company underlines this assessment.”
Another advantage of the business model is that the products are made to order which eliminates warehouse and storage costs. In addition, the margins are high while the return rate remains low, in the single digits.
Juniqe already ships to 12 countries and by the end of the year, its international position shall be even stronger. “Our vision is to become the market leader for affordable art in Europe”, said Lea Lange. “We want to take art out of its ivory tower and make it accessible to everyone”.
With a strong focus on growth, the start-up will use the funds to invest in its online gallery, in enhancing the customer experience, and in shaping the brand’s profile. Furthermore, Juniqe is looking to introduce new product categories and grow the team.
Founded in January 2014, Juniqe is a Berlin-based e-commerce site that specialises in art prints, apparel and accessories. Art lovers can discover new designs by independent artists every day.
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About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).