This startup is making digital crafting easy and affordable

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This startup is making digital crafting easy and affordable

Serendipity can be a huge asset in entrepreneurship. The pharmacist John Pemberton was trying to find a remedy for headaches when he accidentally came up with a recipe for Coca-Cola and Slack started out as a multiplayer online game. 

Creative Fabrica, an online marketplace founded in 2016 by Roemie Hillenaar and Anca Stefan, has just become TQ’s very own example of serendipitous success. Just last week, they received an investment of €500,000 from Dutch venture capital fund Peak Capital, through incredibly fortuitous circumstances.

Roemie met the investor Johan van Mil over a year ago at Office Hours — a TQ-exclusive series of events where our residents meet industry experts. He signed up for a one-on-one session with Johan on marketplace and SaaS to discuss some questions he had regarding Creative Fabrica’s online marketplace for digital ‘crafts’. But something quite unexpected came out of it. In Roemie’s own words:

It was really fortunate that we met Johan at TQ because we would have never approached him otherwise. We were not really looking for investment at the time but after we talked to Peak Capital we decided to go for it.

Crafting meets digital

If you’re thinking right now that a crafting business doesn't seem like an obvious bet for investment, prepare to be surprised. Just in the US alone, the crafting industry is worth $44 billion and growing. 

Why is there so much interest in craft projects at the time when we have greater access to ready-made goods than ever before? “For a lot of people, crafting is a reaction to the mass production and the ultimate way of relaxation. Crafting is a great way of doing something for yourself, allowing you to relax, and to feel a sense of accomplishment,” explained Roemie.

Creative Fabrica's team at their headquarters at TQ, Amsterdam

Amsterdam-based Creative Fabrica caters for a fast-growing trend known as “digital crafting” — designing craft projects such as posters, scrapbooks, or jar labels on a computer. As Roemie explained: “We see that more and more crafting is going digital due to advanced digital printers, digital embroidery machines, and tooling.” 

The Dutch startup provides design professionals and crafting hobbyists with resources for creative projects: From fonts and backgrounds to graphics and templates. They can be accessed either as part of subscription plans or as daily freebies.

What’s next for Creative Fabrica?

Creative Fabrica will use the investment from Peak Capital to expand into new countries. Right now, 80 percent of their revenue comes from the US and Canada, but they have big plans for Europe and Latin America.

“Peak Capital has a lot of experience scaling marketplaces such as Catawiki and United Wardrobe. This, in combination with fresh capital, will allow us to grow even faster and become a leader in multiple markets,” explained Anca.

With investment pouring in and a robust affiliate program in place, Creative Fabrica is on track to sustain their position as the leading marketplace for digital crafting. Here’s to serendipity!

If you're reading this article, you're probably someone who’s interested in tech and startups. And, if you have a startup of your own, you might be eligible to become a resident too. Apply now — if accepted, you'll be surrounded by the best.

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