(Oslo, Norway, 16/08/2021) Gelato (www.gelato.com), a Norwegian-born platform that enables creators around the globe to produce and ship customized products on demand in the end-customer’s market, achieving fast order-to-delivery times with little to no inventory or investment, today announced it has raised a total of USD $240 million in new funding. Gelato’s unique business model and global production network tap into the growing “creator economy” and lower the barriers to creators and entrepreneurs everywhere by giving them the production costs and delivery speed of large ecommerce sellers without upfront investment.
The current round is being led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, as well as funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and existing investors, including Dawn Capital, John Hepburn, chairman of Gelato, SEB Pension Fund, and Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund.
The capital injection will accelerate Gelato’s market penetration and growth in the US and Asia, and its expansion of new local production hubs and products, including 3D printing. Through its hyper-local network of worldwide production partners and software, Gelato solves the challenge of producing and distributing customized products (such as wall art, clothing, books, and home decor) to a global customer base for both ecommerce entrepreneurs like Andy Okay and Your Film Poster, and global companies like Canva. As orders are made on demand and near the end-customer, it slashes delivery times, waste, carbon emissions and costs. Gelato also removes the sellers’ need to manage inventory, manufacturing or shipping - allowing more time to focus on creation, sales and marketing.
The market for customized products is expected to grow from $230 billion to more than $320 billion by 2025, according to Gelato estimates, fueling a surge of creators and entrepreneurs who sell customized products online. While platform companies such as Shopify and Etsy have paved the way for these companies to sell their products, and the likes of Stripe and Adyen have solved the issues of online payments, Gelato’s platform gives them an instant global reach through local production and distribution anywhere, anytime.
“By bringing production of customized products to local markets all across our planet, we empower ecommerce sellers and the creator economy to serve any customer, anywhere, in a way that is much more cost-effective and sustainable,” states Henrik Müller-Hansen, CEO and founder of Gelato. “Through software that connects to idle production capacity, our platform is taking an active part in transforming global manufacturing as we know it. As ecommerce continues to grow, so will our local production partners and their ability to create jobs in their local communities.”
Adam Berger, Managing Director at Insight Partners, will be joining Gelato’s board. “Gelato is a game changer for the world’s creator community. With Gelato’s software, an entrepreneur in, for example, Africa, with a great idea and little to no capital, can in minutes be able to produce, ship and get paid for their product sold in, for example, Germany, with no upfront investment in inventory, manufacturing or logistics - and achieve similar profit margins as competitors 100 times their size. This levels the global creator and ecommerce playing field and is an enormous economic and social opportunity. We believe Gelato is solving hyper-efficient local production at a global scale. With the emergence of new technologies such as 3D printing, Gelato’s curated and global marketplace will empower businesses and consumers around the world,” says Berger.
Since Gelato opened its API-driven platform to the ecommerce industry in 2019, it has supported both larger companies and individual sellers and creators across the world. In Q2 2021 the company delivered an annual revenue growth of 120%. The revenue is propelled by the company’s API business which grew at 320% YoY.
“Gelato’s customized software platform connects two of the world’s largest industries, the $230 billion digital production industry with the rapidly growing ecommerce sector, '' says Anthony Doeh, Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers. Long-term, we believe that Gelato’s curated marketplace can redefine manufacturing, breaking through previous barriers for individual sellers to access a global consumer base, faster, and at a lower cost.” ¹
Gelato was founded by CEO Henrik Müller-Hansen in 2007. The experience of running millions of micro-orders and expanding its network of global print partners to reach its fast-growing global customer base became the foundation for what Gelato is today, on a mission to empower ecommerce and the creator economy to reach any customer overnight with any customized product. Through its network of more than 100 production partners in 33 countries, ecommerce sellers can already reach 5 billion consumers worldwide within 72 hours. The company has offices in Barcelona, Boston, London, Madrid, Moscow, Mumbai, Santiago, São Paulo, Shanghai, Stockholm, Tallinn, and Tokyo. Gelato’s headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway.
Insight Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight Partners has invested in more than 400 companies worldwide and has raised through a series of funds more than $30 billion in capital commitments. Some of Insight ’s portfolio companies are Shopify, Shutterstock, Twitter, and Wix. Gelato is the first investment that Insight has made in Norway. Across its people and its portfolio, Insight encourages a culture around a belief that scaleup companies and growth create opportunity for all. For more information on Insight and its investments, visit insightpartners.com.