Goldman Sachs, SoftBank join the $240M investment in Norway’s Gelato, making it a unicorn with a valuation of over $1 billion
Gelato, a Norwegian software tech startup today announced it has secured $240 million in new funding from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and SoftBank Group Corp. in a deal that values the 14-year old startup at just over $1 billion, making it a member of the highly-coveted unicorn club.
The investment was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm, Insight Partners (also investors in Shopify Twitter), with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, as well as funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and other existing investors.
Gelato will use the new capital infusion to 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 e-commerce 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.
Founded in 2017 by Swede, Henrik Müller-Hansen, the Oslo, Norway-based startup sells printing services by giving customers access to a network of providers. Gelato is also one of the world’s fastest, smartest and greenest one-stop-shop for customized print products on demand. Its software enables entrepreneurs, creators, and global brands to sell their products globally and produce them locally in 30 countries, reaching up to 5 billion potential consumers overnight.
Gelato offers e-commerce store owners access to a network of thousands of professional printers across the world. Meaning that an order for an artwork or customized item of apparel can now be produced near to the purchaser’s location (removing the need for long-distance shipping with all its logistical and timing challenges as well as environmental impacts).
In conjunction with the funding. Gelato also announced a move into 3D printing as a service to its global e-commerce clients, as well as an intention to use expenditure on deepening expansion in the US and Asia.
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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce continues to grow, so will our local production partners and their ability to create jobs in their local communities.”