When you are looking to buy a print for your wall, it is generally pretty easy to do so. Same for iPhone cases, shirts, and other items. Frequently, however, you will need to search through different stores and prices can frequently be quite high. German startup Juniqe launched earlier this year in an effort to deal with this issue by offering a one-stop shop for finding all types of artistic items.
While there were businesses in this market, co-founder Lea Lange says that the founding team created the business because they wanted to create a portal for purchasing contemporary art at affordable prices. Lange, who most recently worked at Fab, began developing the company late last year with fellow ex-Fab executive Marc Pohl and friend Sebastian Hasebrink and then they went live in January.
Juniqe does not reveal the amount of funding that they have, but would tell us that the company has raised a “seven-figure sum” from German Startups Group, Redalpine, and High-Tech Gruenderfonds and plan to use the amount to fund further international expansion. The company has only been in operation for less than a year, but they have already expanded to 12 countries and claim 7,500 customers. Lange says that, going forward, they intend to consolidate their market positions in Switzerland and Austria and to focus more on Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the Nordics. Then, they will shift their attention to the U.K. and France early next year. Although they are an online retailer, they also planning to establish pop-up stores this Christmas.
Although the company has only been in operation for less than a year, they have taken an unusual step for such a young startup by acquiring Berlin-based Stylemarks, a marketplace for vintage designs. Stylemarks obtained funding described as being “in the mid-6 figures” back in February 2013, but apparently decided just over a year later that the time was right to sell to a competitor.