MERSOR is an online marketplace for curated, stylish and sustainable gifts. The Berlin-based company has closed its first round of funding with a high six-figure seed investment, just in time for the Christmas season. The round is led by early-stage investor IBB Ventures together with European investor network Faraday Venture Partners and is also joined by several business angels with extensive industry knowledge. With the capital, the founders intend to further develop the platform’s technology and successfully expand the marketplace model.
Initially launched in 2017 as a brand for customisable leather accessories, the Mersor online shop was opened at the end of 2020 as a marketplace for unusual gift ideas and high-quality gift sets. The vision of founders Stella Maria Sorg and Lisa Kristina Meißner is to become the first port of call for people looking for inspiration for the perfect gift. The versatile assortment offers users a choice between the leather products of their own brand MERSOR Studio and articles from well-known manufacturers, such as Moleskine or Essie, and small labels from Berlin, for example AIMÉ and LALOVLIY, which are personalised and bundled by hand on request. When selecting partners, the founding team places a lot of emphasis on quality, design, sustainability, and female empowerment.
“We want to make the path to the perfect gift as easy and enjoyable as possible and connect people through the art of giving,” says Sorg, Co-Founder and CEO, summarising MERSOR’s mission. With this in mind, features for gift management, such as a gift planner and a data-based gift finder, will be launched in the coming year, among others. In addition, gifts can be pre-wrapped and optionally ordered with a handwritten card, allowing even last-minute shoppers to please friends and family.
“Over the past four years, bootstrapped and on our own, we have managed to steadily more than double our sales with an annual growth rate of over 280%,” adds Meissner, Co-Founder and CFO. The idea, team and traction have also convinced investors: “So far, there is no category leader in the gifts sector. Competitors are generalists that are not geared to the needs of the target group in terms of UX, such as Amazon, Geschenke.de or Radbag. In addition, there are marketplaces such as Avocado Store or Manufactum, which have a large product range but are not focused on the gifts vertical,” says Rayk Reitenbach, Investment Director at IBB Ventures.
Dennis Kirpensteijn, Managing Director at Faraday Venture Partners highlights: “We have been following the very experienced founding team since the beginning of the year and were excited from the start about how structured and results-oriented Stella and Lisa run their company. With a lot of attention to detail and always focusing on the customer, we firmly believe that MERSOR will turn the gift market around, not only in Germany.”
In addition to IBB Ventures and Faraday Venture Partners, several business angels are contributing their knowledge and network to help MERSOR grow the company.
Media sources: Deutsche Startups (German only!)