Whether it’s a vintage wine you’re after, a rare classic car in mint condition or perhaps a dinosaur skeleton, Catawiki is the place to go. As the number one auction platform for collectors, Catawiki is the fastest growing tech company in Europe. That’s why they are now attracting three Country Managers for Belgium, the Nordics and the region Germany/Austria/Switzerland (DACH) respectively.
Each week, about 30,000 exceptional items go under the hammer at Catawiki. Such as the most expensive set of Lego ever sold, a T-Rex jaw and Mick Jagger’s jeans. The platform presents auctions in over 70 categories including music, classic cars, jewelry, wine, watches, stamps, boats and art. The auctions are curated by specialist auctioneers to make sure all lots on Catawiki are of high-quality. Both the buyer and seller pay a commission.
“We are in the unique position of being able to fill the gap between eBay and the more traditional auction houses.” – René Schoenmakers, Founder & CEO Catawiki
Back in 2008, Catawiki was started as an online catalogue where collectors could contribute their own inventories of comic books in a wiki, creating a crowdsourced catalogue in the process. The auction-functionality was added to the online reference work in 2011 and turned out to be a hugely successful means of monetization. The eight-year-old company has become Europe’s fastest growing online auction house. Each month, more than 12 million visitors from around the world engage with the platform. Catawiki’s headquarters are in the Netherlands (Assen and Amsterdam), and the scale-up has over 450 employees (compared to 60 in 2015) from more than 40 different nationalities.
Ambitious roadmap for international growth
Catawiki has always been intended as a singular platform connecting international markets. The website and all offerings are translated into 14 languages, including traditional Chinese and Mandarin. But that doesn’t mean that different markets have their own platform – all auctions are offered globally. As well as the headquarters in the Netherlands, Catawiki has offices in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. From these offices, commercial ties with major sellers and auctioneers with local expertise are established and managed. PR is also managed locally, and there usually is a local marketeer who works closely with the Online Marketing team based in the Netherlands. Based on fact-based market analyses, three markets have been identified as major growth opportunities: Belgium, the Nordics and DACH. To realize these opportunities, Frederik de Beer (Head of Supply & International Expansion) is hiring a Country Manager for each of these markets.
About the position of Country Manager
A Country Manager at Catawiki directly manages an Inside Sales team and Field Sales Account Managers, and indirectly manages and facilitates a team of local auctioneers. This includes optimizing the effectiveness of the local teams and recruitment (based on business opportunities). Country Managers are personally involved in acquisition of new key sellers, onboarding, optimizing existing key category seller relationships and develop long term growth. For this reason, a strong background in online marketplaces and supply management is crucial. They are accountable for the long-term growth of their region, the accomplishment of quarterly targets as well as developing and coaching talents. They work closely with the global marketing team, the buyer and seller experience teams, auctioneers, customer service and other country teams to share knowledge and best practices.
About the DACH region
Following a successful market entry, Catawiki has already built up a network of auctioneers and sellers in Germany. So far, this was managed from the Dutch headquarters. Now is the time for Catawiki to reinforce local presence and profitability, and expand to Austria and Switzerland. The Country Manager DACH will rapidly set up an office in Berlin and expand this professional network in the right categories. For example, Germany might be a good market to fortify Catawiki’s global offering of watches and stamps.