Swedish auction platform Barnebys calls themselves the world’s largest auction search engine. Their concept is similar to travel sites like Trivago, and price comparison sites like PriceRunner.
The platform compiles items from different sites, generating revenue by sending web traffic to the sites where the sales actually take place.
Last December, we reported that the company raised $4.36 million in venture capital. Investors included heavyweights like Industrifonden, Active Ventures, Howsat and the Wattin family investment company Inbox Capital.
That money has primarily been used to expand into the US and China.
The company is not just growing in terms of new markets. Barnebys latest annual report shows the company had sales of $1.25 million in 2015, an increase of nearly 100 per cent from the previous year.
“This year, the plan is to increase net sales to $2.36 million. We have doubled sales every year, so it’s reasonable,” said Christopher Barnekow, co-founder of Barnebys.
Breakit spoke with Barnekow just after he returned from a three month stay in New York, where he worked at building their US team. Right now, the US accounts for 38 per cent of total company revenue.
“We are bigger in the States, which is why we have put much of our focus there. Much of the risk capital we earned in December of last year has been spent to launch big in the US. But, we will continue to develop relevant services,” said Christopher Barnekow.
How’s it going in China?
“It is totally fine, but the Chinese market is relatively immature, so there are completely different challenges. We are like a window to the West,” said Barnekow.
In terms of profitability, the Swedish auction giant has not quite made it yet. Last year the company had a loss of about $14,000. “Nothing to make a fuss over,” said Barnekow, who believes that for a startup, building the brand is most important.
“The loss is from last year, and it is all according to plan. It is a strategic choice for us to expand,” said Mr. Barnekow.