Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It’s not what you thought: The Next Big Market Opportunity?

You might have heard – over and over and a lot – economists and analysts talking about China, India and Russia as the next big market opportunities. But, as it turned out, they are not.

It’s not China or India. It’s Turkey.

I read that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, best known for investing in Google, Amazon, Twitter and Zynga, has made a bet on Turkey as the next big market with its first major investment there.

The receiving company —, an e-commerce site based in Istanbul — is announcing today that it has raised $26 million from Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global.

Trendyol is similar to other flash sales sites in the U.S., such as Gilt Groupe, Rue La La, and Ideeli - all of which I'm a subscriber of and can't be complaining about the "sugar-ness" of these "special deals" sites/newsletters The site sends out daily emails offering a heavily discounted selection of clothes. Consumers have a limited amount of time to purchase the items before the sale expires or quantities run out.

Demet Mutlu
It was founded by Demet Mutlu, a 29-year-old dropout from Harvard Business School — she is now running the company with about 350 employees.

Kleiner partner Aileen Lee said a combination of a hardworking executive team, the company’s phenomenal growth, and Turkey’s increasingly attractive market opportunity led to the investment. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to introduce e-commerce to a market that doesn’t have a strong brick-and-mortar environment.

Here are some facts of the interest:
• Turkey has 35 million Internet users, representing the third largest Web market in Europe.
• Turkey is a socially engaged country, ranking fifth-highest for Facebook usage globally; eighth for Twitter and first for FriendFeed.
• Turkey has a high credit card penetration rate of about 60 percent with 46 million credit cards.
• In the past 16 months, Trendyol has signed up four million members, translating into one out of every nine Turkish Internet users.

You might be surprised to think of Turkey as the next “Silicon Valley”, but if you’ve ever visited Trendyol, it’d look as if any other Silicon Valley start up. And – they know how to outsource and they are pretty good at using, utilizing and leveraging on the social media. Check out their Facebook “store” that allows users to make purchases without leaving the site.

The funding will be used for new initiatives, such as building out the company’s customer service team, increasing its membership, and potentially moving into new geographies. has secured more than $50 million in total financing since the site launched in March 2010.

And THAT’S something to think about….

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