Korean hand-crafted items market Backpackr gears as much as extend into Southeast Asia • TechCrunch

A few decade in the past, Donghwan Kim helped his cousin, a ceramist, search for gross sales channels, like flea markets, to promote his ceramics. However they’d a difficult time finding an acceptable platform, so after a couple of 12 months, Kim determined to create a market for hand-crafted items himself in South Korea referred to as Backpackr.

As of late, Backpackr, which operates hand-crafted market referred to as idus, has raised a $16 million (20 billion gained) extension to its Collection C financing, two-and-a-half years after its first Collection C, which used to be $24 million (about 30 billion gained).

The startup is now valued at roughly $240.1 million post-money, in step with resources accustomed to the location. Backpackr mentioned it has raised a complete of $56.8 million since its 2012 inception however declined to divulge its valuation. Returning investor Altos Ventures led the extension along side Stone Bridge and new traders Axiom Asia and Vanderbilt College. 

The brand new capital will lend a hand Backpackr make a foray into Southeast Asia, together with Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, in the second one quarter of this 12 months with an ambition to develop into the Etsy of Asia, Kim mentioned in an interview with TechCrunch. Backpackr additionally plans to make use of the proceeds to spend money on R&D to advance its synthetic intelligence–powered seek and advice machine, in addition to rent further workers. 

The startup intends to promote merchandise made in South Korea in a foreign country and produce hand-crafted merchandise made in Southeast Asia to South Korea by way of its platform. Different nations like Japan and the U.S. are on its radar for the next locations, in step with Kim. Backpackr must compete with different hand-crafted marketplaces in Asia like Japan-based Minne and Creema, Taiwan-based Pinkoi and Singapore-headquartered Carousell. The marketplace dimension of Asia’s hand-crafted merchandise is projected to achieve $307.8 billion in 2027, up from $149 billion in 2021. 

The corporate no longer best has idus as a number one trade but in addition operates a crowdfunding platform referred to as Tumblbug which it received in 2020. Backpackr additionally has introduced a Patreon-like writer subscription provider, Steadio, to glue artists with their fanatics, Kim mentioned. Backpackr’s style is to try for a one-stop-shop platform for its creators, which is the corporate’s key differentiator, Kim identified. 

“We wish to make it a one-stop-shop platform for creators, letting our customers (creators) open their very own web boutiques promoting their craftworks, together with handicrafts and the rest do-it-yourself like bakery, cleaning soap, candles, jewellery, fragrances, baggage, furnishings, house decor and artwork, lend a hand them crowdfund for his or her merchandise and fix the creators with fanatics to provide on-line or offline categories,” Kim advised TechCrunch.  

Backpackr, which had about 60,000 creators as of November remaining 12 months, says it surpassed $804 million in gross products quantity in November and handed a break-even level in the second one half of of remaining 12 months, despite the fact that it nonetheless posted loss-making within the fiscal 12 months of 2022. The outfit expects to earn a living this 12 months, Kim mentioned. 

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