Money & Funding

Creator economy platform Gelato looking to move into 3D printing

After raising $240 million in a new funding round

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Gelato, a Norwegian-born platform that enables entrepreneurs to produce and ship creations on-demand, has raised a total of $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.

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/e-commerce playing field and is an enormous economic and social opportunity. We believe Gelato is solving hyper-efficient local production at 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.

Gelato
Henrik Müller-Hansen, CEO and founder of Gelato

The current round is being led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with participation form 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). Adam Berger, Managing Director at Insight Partners, will be joining Gelato’s board.

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 USD 230 billion to more than USD 320 billion by 2025, fueling a surge of creators and entrepreneurs who sell customized products online. While 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.”

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 the company delivered 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 USD 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.”

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