TB Auctions acquires online auction house Vavato


Dutch online auction house TB Auctions, the market leader in Europe, is taking over the Belgian counterpart Vavato. The transaction takes place partly in cash and partly in shares.


440 million euros

Vavato was founded in 2015 by Flemish entrepreneurs Kevin Van de Vyver, Pieterjan Van Emelen and Fons Tooten. They launched an online auction platform to sell liquidation goods, leased cars, returns from webshops, and overstocks from retail chains, among other things. The young company grew quickly, and in 2019 the transaction value was already 45 million euros. Today, it is about 65 million euros, writes Belgian newspaper De Tijd.


Vavato will now be acquired by TB Auctions. The latter is a Dutch auction house with an annual transaction value of 440 million euros, the market leader in Europe. The company already owns the brands Troostwijk (industrial goods) and BVA Auctions (consumers and SMEs) and is active in a dozen European countries, including Belgium.


The deal's financial details were not disclosed, but according to De Tijd, the valuation is between 40 and 50 million euros. Part of this will be paid partly in cash and partly through a share swap.


Direct sale

All brands within the group will continue to exist separately, with their own websites. The three founders and financial director Nicolas Germanes will further develop Vavato. According to CEO Fons Tooten, voluntary online auction sales, in particular, are on the rise. "The direct sale according to supply and demand - without a predetermined, fixed price - is increasingly becoming an alternative to traditional distribution. Vavato is growing by 100 per cent per year."


There is also a growing interest in online sales coming from the art world. "Belgian art galleries and antiquarian dealers are increasingly approaching us." The auction house is also investigating the possibilities of auctioning other goods and services, such as student loans, insurance or job assignments.