Korean handmade merchandise market Backpackr gears up to expand into Southeast Asia • TechCrunch

About a ten years back, Donghwan Kim helped his cousin, a ceramist, glimpse for sales channels, like flea marketplaces, to provide his ceramics. But they experienced a tough time finding a acceptable platform, so immediately after about a 12 months, Kim made the decision to develop a market for handmade products himself in South Korea named Backpackr.

Right now, Backpackr, which operates handmade market called idus, has lifted a $16 million (20 billion gained) extension to its Collection C financing, two-and-a-50 % many years immediately after its 1st Series C, which was $24 million (about 30 billion gained).

The startup is now valued at roughly $240.1 million submit-dollars, according to sources acquainted with the circumstance. Backpackr stated it has lifted a overall of $56.8 million due to the fact its 2012 inception but declined to disclose its valuation. Returning trader Altos Ventures led the extension together with Stone Bridge and new buyers Axiom Asia and Vanderbilt University. 

The new capital will assist Backpackr make a foray into Southeast Asia, which include Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, in the 2nd quarter of this yr with an ambition to turn into the Etsy of Asia, Kim claimed in an interview with TechCrunch. Backpackr also designs to use the proceeds to commit in R&D to advance its artificial intelligence–powered lookup and advice technique, as perfectly as seek the services of additional workers. 

The startup intends to provide products and solutions built in South Korea overseas and deliver handmade products manufactured in Southeast Asia to South Korea by way of its platform. Other countries like Japan and the U.S. are on its radar for the pursuing destinations, in accordance to Kim. Backpackr will have to compete with other handmade marketplaces in Asia like Japan-based Minne and Creema, Taiwan-centered Pinkoi and Singapore-headquartered Carousell. The industry size of Asia’s handmade solutions is projected to attain $307.8 billion in 2027, up from $149 billion in 2021. 

The company not only has idus as a key organization but also operates a crowdfunding platform named Tumblbug which it obtained in 2020. Backpackr also has released a Patreon-like creator membership services, Steadio, to hook up artists with their enthusiasts, Kim reported. Backpackr’s design is to intention for a a person-stop-shop system for its creators, which is the company’s key differentiator, Kim pointed out. 

“We want to make it a a single-quit-store system for creators, allowing our consumers (creators) open their individual web boutiques offering their craftworks, together with handicrafts and just about anything home made like bakery, cleaning soap, candles, jewellery, fragrances, luggage, furniture, house decor and artwork, aid them crowdfund for their items and join the creators with lovers to supply online or offline classes,” Kim told TechCrunch.  

Backpackr, which experienced about 60,000 creators as of November previous year, claims it surpassed $804 million in gross merchandise volume in November and handed a break-even place in the second 50 percent of final 12 months, nevertheless it continue to posted reduction-generating in the fiscal yr of 2022. The outfit expects to create earnings this calendar year, Kim mentioned.