eBay Ventures, the newly launched venture capital arm of eBay, has made its first investment in a Norwegian company called Tise.
Tise is a self-described “marriage between Instagram and Craigslist” reuse app trying to reduce the waste in the fashion industry enabling users to sell and discover second-hand fashion, interior and furniture.
The Olso-based company raised a total of NOK 200 million (just shy of $20M) in fresh capital from three participating investment groups which include Nysnø, an investment fund operated by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bring Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the Norway Post Group (also part of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry), and eBay Ventures.
This isn’t Bring Ventures’ first investment in an online marketplace. They are also invested in British-based OnBuy.com, which keeps growing rapidly and is potentially poised to expand beyond the UK as early as this year.
Tise was founded in 2014 by Eirik Rime and Axel Franck Næss and thus far raised around $37 million in venture capital funding.
The company is primarily known in the Nordic countries and plans to use the new cash to help it expand its reach in other European markets.
Tise says it has about 2.5 million registered users with 150,000 daily users that spend an average of 17 minutes every day on the app. Over 6.5 million items have been sold through its app, the company said.
“We are very proud of being able to attract such strong and relevant partners. Through Bring Ventures, we will gain a unique insight and expertise within logistics and shipping.“
“Together with investment from Nysnø – the state-owned climate investment company – we strengthen our sustainability mission.”
“eBay is one of the world’s leading marketplaces with a remarkable scale of 142 million buyers and over 1.6 billion live listings globally, and has a fantastic network and insight.”
“We are very pleased with this investor mix and look forward to continuing the work with new and existing investors and partners,” said Eirik Rime, CEO of Tise.
eBay Ventures Takes Cautious First Step
eBay Venture’s first foray is a cautious one with Tise already having provided solid performance metrics over the past years.
This is also supported by the fact that government venture capital arms participated in this funding round, again, suggesting a high level of trust in Tise’s ability to grow its business.
eBay did not provide an official press release announcing its investment, but two principals of eBay Ventures commented on LinkedIn on the news.
“eBay Ventures is thrilled to join Tise on their journey. Amazing team that built a highly engaging shopping experience, and a strong, impressive and growing community of sustainability-conscious buyers.”
“We share their passion for meaningful commerce that helps sustain the future of customers and our planet,” said Henri Jaanimägi, one of the co-founders of eBay Ventures.
“We surely share their passion for sustainable re-commerce,” added Beatriz Reyero, Global VP of Corporate Strategy & Investments at eBay.
The latter may be the primary reason eBay chose to invest in Tise. Many VC funds not only provide funding but also expertise to help a startup grow.
At some point down the road, eBay could just snap up Tise to either operate the business independently or use the technology to incorporate it into its ecosystem.
Or it could just profit from the investment and move on while gleaning some insights into the recommerce market in Europe where Tise appears to have attracted a nice following, especially among the Gen Z and Millennial generations that place a higher emphasis on sustainability.
Tise is a safe first step for eBay Ventures and not one likely to go down in flames.
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