Setting a new record for Hungarian companies, this €10M Series A proves that CEE startups are gaining visibility on the world stage. Companies like UIPath, Brainly, and Vinted are also brandishing the flag for the region, demonstrating that it’s possible to attract international attention even when your headquarters aren’t based in a traditional startup hub.
But of course, it all starts with the quality of the product.
Strong Risk Tech as a Cornerstone
From its earliest incarnation, SEON was always about strong technology. When Tamas and Bence couldn’t find a good risk startup to protect their crypto exchange from fraudsters, they decided to build it themselves.
The products, in short, were designed as an antidote to legacy risk companies, whose expensive integrations and outdated data analysis tools did not meet the needs of small businesses. They wanted more agile tools, with better results and faster implementation.
It turns out SEON and its early adopters weren’t the only ones interested. Innovative anti-fraud technology is increasingly valued by big companies too. Air France, Avis, and Patreon are now all big fans
Focusing on the Next Steps
Closing a funding round feels both like a victory and a challenge. The stakes get higher. Business decisions become more impactful. Luckily, SEON is already a sustainable startup. But it doesn’t mean they plan on resting on our laurels.
SEON has a long-term game plan and a big mission: to eradicate online fraud.
This is only possible thanks to all the people at the startup who work hard every day to make it happen. Growing the team, enabling their growth and that of their products to benefit customers is exactly what this investment is all about.
Including Series C funding, the innovative start-up has raised €33 million since its inception in 2015. The company will more than double its 140-strong team of parametric designers, developers, researchers, production specialists, and marketing experts to continue to push the boundaries of furniture design and technology.
Tylko, the Polish digital-first furniture company, announced today the close of a €22 million Series C round of funding led by Israel-based Pitango Ventures and Finnish Evli Growth Partners. Since its creation in 2015, Tylko has served almost 60,000 satisfied customers and shows no signs of slowing down. The €22m investment follows a strong year for Tylko, with its unique approach to furniture design generating a 132% increase in sales in 2020 in comparison to previous years.
The new investment shows confidence in Tylko’s offering of premium design coupled with a user experience that puts the customer in control. The brand’s unique business model is premised on its belief that through investment in innovation and cutting-edge technology, the furniture industry can be swayed from ‘fast furniture’ towards durable, user-first products. By embedding conscious consumption in everything it makes, Tylko incorporates sustainability into high-quality and well-designed products.
Angel investors in this Series C round include Brian Walker, former CEO of furniture giant Herman Miller, who had been advising Tylko prior to his investment, and Mark Williamson, COO of renowned US-based online classes platform MasterClass. As part of this investment, Rami Kalish from Pitango Ventures, Mikko Kuitunen from Evli Growth Partners and Brian Walker will join the company’s Supervisory Board.
A future-proof business model
Tylko has seen sales during the pandemic rise by 132%, as its future-proof business model adopts an online-only, direct-to-consumer (D2C) and made-to-order approach. Individually designed by the customer from home, based on the principles of parametric design, each item is an individual solution. From each order Tylko’s unique proprietary software automates the manufacturing process for its production partners: a directly scalable process.
These advantages have driven the €33 million in funding which Tylko has raised to date.
Tylko will use the Series C capital to find the next generation of creators and talent who will help to drive the company’s mission and vision to make ever-better products through industry-leading technology and a personalised approach to design.
Mikko Kuitunen, Growth Partner at Evli Growth Partners, Founder and CEO of Vincit. “We are impressed by Tylko’s exceptional growth and ability to scale the company as a market leader, offering new, customized solutions within the furniture market. Tylko’s strong impact-driven vision and made-to-order business model drives the market’s transition towards more sustainable solutions. By optimizing material use, production efficiency and offering customers unique, long-lasting design we believe Tylko is positioned at the forefront of such a transition.”
€36m in sales for Tylko during the pandemic
The successful Series C funding round comes off the back of a strong year for Tylko. With the pandemic transforming homes into workplaces, schools and beyond, our interiors have never been more important. Tylko’s unique offering – environmentally conscious, customizable, premium design – has struck a chord with taste-conscious and environmentally minded consumers alike.
In 2020, during the first lockdown, the company saw a 40% MOM growth in trade, with sales from June to August tripling compared to the same time period in 2019. Last year alone, Tylko served over 30,000 satisfied customers.
The furniture market is one of the largest consumer categories. Its online penetration was experiencing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14% before the Covid-19 pandemic, creating market potential in the future. The total furniture market size in Europe and US in 2020 was €341.1 bn. Tylko’s sales have doubled every year since 2015, with 2020 seeing €36m revenue and profitability in Q4.
Rami Kalish, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Pitango “Tylko has a huge vision to disrupt the furniture industry that has “frozen in time” with its outstanding technology and unwavering commitment to protect Mother Earth. We believe in Tylko because its outstanding founding team excels in all the business parameters of scale, growth and customer satisfaction, while maintaining excellence in executing an inspiring ESG and sustainability vision.”
Create customer value where sustainability and durability are a norm
Tylko is committed to developing contemporary products that positively influence people’s lives whilst preventing negative effects on the planet. The furniture industry contributes heavily to the climate crisis: it is responsible for over a billion trees falling every year, alongside 670 thousand tonnes of landfill in the UK and 10 million tons in the US. Despite the increasing importance of climate, this trend continues to accelerate.
Jacek Majewski, Co-Founder, Co-CEO Tylko, commented on the planned expansion: “Tylko’s vision has always been about putting the user experience first, in order to create a product that is perfectly designed, high-quality and sustainable. We believe that driving sustainability into this huge industry can only be done by creating highly desirable products that will win over customers by their features rather than certificates.”
Constant product rotations and disposable furniture have become the norm across the entire industry, with badly sourced materials compounding the issue. Tylko wants to transform this behaviour with a product that is perfectly adjusted to the individual’s space and needs, is easy to assemble and disassemble, and provides a hassle-free product experience. Every item is a durable, individual solution, thereby requiring less consumption and so helping the planet.
As part of the €22 million investment, Tylko will continue to invest in:
Its supply chain, to develop and create new sustainable and durable materials suitable for the furniture industry.
Improved delivery, packaging and logistics processes to ensure the most efficient supply chain optimisation.
An expanded network of collaborators (artists, designers, brands) to reach more people.
Technologies that improve Tylko’s customer experience (AR, Space Recognition, Parametric Design tools).
Tylko’s ambitious investment in people
From its founding in 2015, Tylko began to put together a workplace where employees have the freedom to create, develop and contribute towards the industry. 2021 offers an enormous opportunity to rapidly expand its team which already includes 140 specialists, investing in the best talent in the industry.
Mikołaj Molenda, Co-Founder, Co-CEO Tylko, added:“Right now, we need to invest in the best people in the industry to work with us and achieve Tylko’s mission – to help us build the value for customers and shape the future of the furniture industry. To change our outlook on our home and interior decisions we make. What we offer is a freedom to think, do, change and evolve. Come and join us as we work on innovative solutions for people and the planet.”
Global expansion and new products
Additionally, the new funding will support Tylko’s further expansion into markets beyond Europe as well as the launch of new product categories. Currently, Tylko’s portfolio consists of the original Type01 in Plywood and Veneer and its successor the Type02, two product families in which customers can configure anything from a bookcase to a shoe rack to a TV stand.
In late 2020, Tylko introduced a new product category, with a new version of the configurator and extra features. This illustrates how easily Tylko can expand its product portfolio: simply with further software upgrades, a whole new product family can be made. Further product development in this way is planned for 2021.