Vivense is our investment in the furniture e-commerce space. Run by Kemal Erol, the former CEO of Rocket Internet’s Westwing operation in Turkey, and Alper Mat, formerly VP of Operations at Peak Games, we made our original investment in Vivense in June 2013.
In the year following our investment, Vivense has used a three-pronged strategy to grow its net revenue fourfold. While many furniture e-commerce startups in Turkey choose to compete on price, Vivense differentiates itself through its unique product line sourced from selected manufacturers, intermediary-free drop shipment directly from manufacturer to customer, and end-to-end service including interior design, delivery, and assembly. By investing to establish sustainable long-term competitive advantages early on, Vivense has also started to show a steadily improving unit economics profile.
The combination of this great team, differentiated strategy, and steadily improving unit economics attracted the interest of Can Yucaoglu and Gamze Yucaoglu, who led Vivense’s Series A round. As investors in Yemeksepeti who have experienced the fast growth of a marketplace business, we’re very fortunate to have them on board as Vivense continues on a similar trajectory.
Together with Alp Saul of Pronet and Evren Ucok of Earlybird, we also participated in the new round to increase our pro-rata ownership in a company that we believe is uniquely positioned to disrupt not only the large furniture market, but also the growing furniture e-commerce market in Turkey. With many tailwinds like rising home ownership and a growing middle class in Turkey supporting its end-to-end strategy, we’re very fortunate to support the Vivense team on their exciting journey.