Catawiki, the Assen-based auction website, is on the verge of becoming a “unicorn”: a company or startup with an estimated value of more than one billion dollars.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Drenthe reports that the company is expected quality as a “unicorn” company in the near future, primarily due to the high number of online auctions that take place each week: in May of 2018, there were 50,000 transactions on average on a weekly basis.
The term “unicorn”, which was coined by Aileen Lee, alludes to its rare nature: statistically, billion dollar companies are so exceedingly rare that they may seem like a mythological creature. Many of the unicorn companies are in the tech industry, including Facebook. Other Dutch companies that have earned the title are Picnic, an online supermarket, Helloprint, an online printing platform, and communications company Messagebird.
Fast growing company
The products that go up for auction on the Catawiki website are handpicked by in-house experts who also provide an estimate for the value of the product. Catawiki, which is based in Assen in Drenthe, launched in 2011 and is considered a successful alternative to traditional auction houses like Christies and marketplace websites like eBay. The company was named the 13th fastest growing company in Europe by the Financial Times in 2017 and topped the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list in 2015 as the fastest growing tech company in Europe.
In that same year, the company’s annual report listed a turnover of 17 million euros from commissions on 100 million euro’s worth of sales from auctions. The company had roughly 40% turnover in 2016.