Slovak e-commerce start-up GymBeam has secured six million euros of investment from Crowdberry, a Czech-Slovak crowd-investing platform, and the state-owned Slovak Investment Holding (SIH), which invests in strategic public and private companies.
The deal is the largest e-commerce investment in Slovakia’s history.
Košice-based GymBeam, which develops, sells and distributes fitness nutritional supplements, functional foodstuffs and active lifestyle equipment was founded six years ago and currently operates in 13 Central and Eastern European countries. Annual turnover has grown from 2.5 million euros in 2015 to over 20 million euros last year, with the start-ups own brands making up almost 60 per cent of sales.
“GymBeam’s regional e-commerce strategy is unparalleled,” says Crowdberry’s Dano Gašpar. “It brought a digital revolution to an industry that had been dominated by big offline players for decades. The firm quickly responds to data analysis trends, coming up with interactive ways of marketing and product innovations supported by localised client service. It capitalises on a strong community character of its audience, which allows it to spread its brand reputation and achieve levels of growth that are well above the average. For Crowdberry investors, this is a unique opportunity to chip in growth capital and contribute to the market value of an unequivocal leader in Central Europe, with ambitions that extend beyond this region.”
“Our ambition is to become the leading brand on the markets of all Central and Eastern European countries,” adds Dalibor Cicman, founder of GymBeam. “We intend to use this investment for a modular automation of our distribution centre; we are planning to build a new development centre for our own products; we have just opened delivery points and representation spaces in Budapest and in Prague. Our goal is to exceed 100 million euros in turnover by 2024.”
GymBeam currently employs more than 150 people, shipping out over 4,000 packages a day from its logistics and operation centre in Košice.
Given the start-up’s target markets, GymBeam considers its base in Košice to be a strategic competitive advantage, and has strongly supports local talent in the field of marketing, information technologies and e-commerce. The company’s growth ambitions should therefore have a considerably positive effect on future development of the Košice region and create attractive jobs in the area, one of the reasons that SIH was persuaded to invest.
“Our talks with GymBeam regarding investment began back in 2019, long before the world was paralysed by the Covdi-19 pandemic,” says SIH General Director Ivan Lesay. “There are not too many economy sectors that may emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis but we are convinced that e-commerce is one of them. We are glad to have found a company in Slovakia that is absolutely innovative and unique in terms of its approach to clients who search online for products designed to support an active and healthy lifestyle. We believe that GymBeam will live up to its potential and continue to grow internationally.”
Unlike many news and information platforms, Emerging Europe is free to read, and always will be. There is no paywall here. We are independent, not affiliated with nor representing any political party or business organisation. We want the very best for emerging Europe, nothing more, nothing less. Your support will help us continue to spread the word about this amazing region.
You can contribute here. Thank you.