Berlin startup Wummelkiste just secured $1 million from Blumberg Capital, Team Europe and angel investors including Eric Wahlforss (SoundCloud), Klaas Kersting (GameForge) and Peter Read (also an investor in Readmill, Gidsy and Loopcam).
Wummelkiste – founded by former Team Europe entrepreneur-in-residence Philippa Pauen – is a subscription-based monthly “box” service similar to Kiwi Crate and Babbaco in the US. Each month, subscribers are mailed a package of craft projects (using only eco-friendly materials) aimed at children aged three to seven. A single box is €19.95 and a one-year subscription is €199.95, with gift subscriptions also available for three or 12 months.
“Having a lot of friends with kids, we found out that there were no creative craft games. So we decided to change it,” Pauen says. The service went live in Germany in early March, and Pauen and team expect to announce international expansion plans later this year.
Joining Berlin’s Team Europe in this funding round is Blumberg Capital, the early-stage venture firm headquartered in San Francisco that previously invested in HootSuite and others.
Also backing Wummelkiste are angel investors including SoundCloud co-founder Eric Wahlforss, GameForge founder Klaas Kersting and UK-based investor Peter Read. Wahlforss and Read also recently joined forces to back GIF platform Loopcam.
A box for all your needs
Wummelkiste (“kiste” means box) is just one of a growing suite of subscription commerce offerings in Germany, joining Glossybox (for cosmetics – Rocket Internet), Chic Chick Club (for shoes – Team Europe) and food plus recipe combos Hello Fresh (Rocket Internet) and Magic Chef (Project A). There’s MansBox for men who can’t stand shopping for tees, boxers and socks, and erotic product sampler LoversBox.
Other delivery services for children’s products in Germany include MeineSpielzeugKiste (“My Toy Box”), which offers toys-for-rent rather than the build-a-toy projects offered by Wummelkiste.
So why subscription commerce? Long-term, loyal customers can only be a good thing for the bottom line – and subscriptions are a godsend for logistics planning. But Pauen says the main drawcard is a good fit with Wummelkiste’s aim to support kids’ development through play. “The arts and crafts adapt to the children’s skills and needs when they grow older,” she explains – as kids grow, the service can grow with them. “Wummelkiste is something that works best in a subscription model.”
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