How Lithuania got its first unicorn while boosting sustainability in Germany
According to Quantilope, 49% of Germans bought gifts online for Christmas 2020. Meanwhile, data from Statista shows that 64% of these purchases were made using a smartphone or a tablet. Based on these findings, it is clear that the e-commerce market in Germany is now of paramount importance.
This is a situation Vinted, a Lithuanian second-hand clothing marketplace, known in Germany as Kleiderkreisel, is definitely taking advantage of. Downloads of their app were more than double that of their two largest competitors, Amazon and eBay, in 2020.
Lithuania’s first billion dollar company, Vinted is Europe’s largest online consumer-to-consumer platform. It has over 45M members across the globe and 300 million items listed on its sites. Of these markets, Germany is number one.
Recently Vinted raised 303 million USD for its marketplace, and right now the company is valued at 4.5 billion USD. This new investment will enable an expansion of the company’s Berlin office, which is where key engineering and product development teams are located. As the enterprise intelligence company Craft.co’s estimates, Vinted has 882 employees, of whom over 50 work in Berlin.
It is fair to say that Vinted would not be as big as it is without Germany. The Munich-based media company Burda has invested a double-digit million amount in Vinted. Their stake in Vinted has been held by Burda Principal Investments since 2015.
As per a study by Momox,53 percent of Germans purchase second-hand clothing, with more than half of these customers women. It also shows that young people (68% are 16 to 24 years old) most often buy second-hand clothing. As a result, this c is the primary target group of Kleiderkreisel. At the same time, this demographic is increasingly concerned about sustainability issues. Vinted sees a potential sales volume of 500 billion Euros in the global second-hand clothing market.
Cooperation between German investors and Lithuanian start-ups, such as Vinted, has proved mutually beneficial. Lithuania got its first unicorn company. Meanwhile, Germany is getting help needed to reach its sustainability goals. A 2015 study by Greenpeace revealed that Germans had 5.2 billion items of clothing in their homes. 40% of which they rarely or never wear. Digitization of the market, via online platforms such as Kleiderkreisel, has made second-hand fashion widely available in Germany, even without physical stores nearby.
German industry has partnered with Lithuania for decades. But recently their collaboration has deepened.
Over the last years, German companies, notably Continental, Hella, Rehau and Schmitz Cargobull, have established a significant presence in Lithuania. . One of the most recent stories of German-Lithuania cooperation is demonstrated by Elinta Charge. This Lithuanian company is on a mission to unleash e-mobility by designing award-winning smart AC chargers for electric vehicles (EVs).