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BlogFeb 09, 2023

Why we raised our first round.


Words by Simon, co-founder.

An innocent launch

In April 2020, Benoit and I launched Merchery.

The initial idea came out of our observation that corporate gifts (merch, branded objects, goodies, you name it) are most of the times good enough to end up in the trash.

I mean we’ve all been confronted with that low quality branded pen that doesn’t work or that literally useless customised USB key.

What if we’d create a selection of products that we would want for ourselves. Qualitative, beautiful, but most of all the least harmful possible for our planet.

That was why we started. We really didn’t have much ambition but to create a business the right way. There was back in the days, no intention to become a large organisation active in more than 20 countries. Nothing. We just wanted to have fun while building something beautiful and meaningful.

A fast (and furious) start

Pretty quickly though, our little big project started to grow. Fast.

2020 was our launch year, 2021 was the confirmation of our product-market fit, and 2022 was a special year.

A lot of things positively evolved for the project in 2022, which brought a new perspective. It all started with the team that grew from 12 people to literally 26. A shock to be honest, but necessary regarding the amount of business we would receive.

2022 was also the year we discovered that our project also resonates across the Atlantic, and that maybe, maybe there was a chance that Merchery could be successful in the US. We also went from less than 400 clients to more than 1000. We grew our communities to more than 20k people following and supporting us. We made some noise in the press. We became BCorp. We worked on some crazy projects, with some crazy nice brands.

Bref. 2022 was hectic. But most of all it changed our brain chemistry.

A change in ambition

Until today, we never raised money with outside equity investors. Our goal was to create a sustainable organisation financially. And that’s what we did, Merchery is profitable every year since the launch. Growth was never the ultimate goal either. We’ve always been quite passive in regards to our growth. Still today, what matters for us isn’t how big, but how good.

What changes however, is our perception on the impact we can have on our industry. The little project we started from our small apartment might actually become bigger, and have a larger impact on the industry and the world than we thought. The industry is a giant, estimated at more than $200M. That’s a lot of cheap useless gifts ending up in the trash.

I am, therefore, very happy to announce that we decided to attempt to change the corporate gifting industry for the better.

To do so, we just raised our first round.

Simon Polet - Co-founder

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