60-second start-up: Karolo.com

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Karolo is a new, online furniture community, enabling users to buy and sell furniture, share topics of interest and connect with like-minded individuals.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We offer users a cost-effective way of auctioning new and second-hand furniture without paying final sale commission rates. Users pay for listings based on the selling features they require, with prices ranging from free to encourage furniture reuse up to £50 for those looking for maximum exposure.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are various generic auction sites, namely eBay and Ebid. Classified sites such as Vivastreet, Loot and Gumtree offer advertising space however all of these are based around generic categories across a huge range of products.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Karolo is dedicated to furniture, combining social networking with cost effective auction functionality - something we believe is unique to the market. Our community connectivity, profile and blogging tools help designers, carpenters and small businesses promote themselves, providing a platform for information and inspiration for our users.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

We are self-funded.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was a graphic/web designer for a design agency in Wales, growing increasingly frustrated with designing good websites for other people.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

The idea was driven from my desire to build my own web business, but developed fast after I identified a niche in the market for an auction website targeted to one sector. I quickly settled on furniture as a commodity every home-owner needs or wants to upgrade, and this selfishly appealed to my design background.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Realising that I can't do everything myself and thus choosing a business partner with the exact opposite skill set to myself.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

In its infancy I tried to modify an 'off the shelf' component to achieve some of the required functionality, a mistake that proved costly both in terms of time and money.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

Freshly made, crunchy oat biscuits. Simple and easy to make, with a good solid base ready for you to add whatever you want.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Facebook - what other business has a Hollywood blockbuster as an advert?

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

In 12 months I'd like to see Karolo with an established and rapidly expanding user base, providing an essential tool for shops, designers and craftsmen to promote their products and interact with an active community.

Find out more about Karolo.com

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