Grand Designs in Berlin as Monoqi Goes Public

By Toni Ellis |

Congratulations to design startup Monoqi, which has officially left its beta phase after the web store was opened to the public today.

Having been in an invite-only testing mode for less that two weeks, and active only since January, the Berlin-based company is a designer’s dream – a shopping club for international homeware, fashion and artwork, all with a unique edge.

Monoqi co-founder and CMO Sarah Mettler told Silicon Allee that Monday’s launch was going well. She said: “We are very satisfied so far, we’ve already had a lot of sales and a lot of traffic on the site, and the server is running smoothly.” A welcome sign, after the technical hiccups that delayed the store’s original priority members opening last month.

But there has been a flood of similar design-driven online shopping club springing up in Berlin recently. So with competition from the likes of WestWing, NuLou and Bamarang, a Rocket clone of, how can Monoqi stand out from the crowd?

Sarah added: “We  handpick people and products; we’re more focused on the quality rather than the quantity. It’s more of an artistic approach.”

Simon Fabich, the CEO of Monoqi, said: “Our positioning and the selection of products are currently unique on the market… (but) the launch today is just the tip of the iceberg.”

For those who prefer to try before they buy, Monoqi are also creating a pop-up store to mark the launch. Open from the March 16 to 25, the pop-up store will be housed in Appel Design Gallery at Torstrasse 114, where shoppers can check out products from the website before buying them online.

And they won’t even have to wait to get home before making the purchase – there will be computer access via an iPad and MacBook in-store.

Berlin has always been a hub for creative design, and together with fashion startups like Fashionism, the German capital is further pushing its reputation for edgy design.