Swiss media group Tamedia increased its stake in mobile-first marketplace Tradono to a controlling stake, and merged its operations with that of Trendsales, a pre-loved clothes site in the Tamedia portfolio since 2014.

Both sites were in the red last year. Tamedia hopes to pull them into the black by having them managed by a single team who’ll streamline operations, and exploit synergies, while keeping both brands in the market, the company said in a news release.

Until today, Tamedia held anything between 88 percent and 100 percent of Trendsales, and had a minority stake in Tradono somewhere between 25 percent and 33 percent.

Going forward, Tamedia will be the majority owner of the merged entity. The minority shareholders include the Tradono founders, employees, and early investors in Tradono, according to the release.

Financial details of the transaction were not divulged.

Mads Mathiesen, CEO and a co-founder of Tradono, was appointed CEO of the merged entity, and will in future be running both Trendsales and Tradono.

Tradono was launched in 2014 in Denmark as a mobile-first stuff site. Early in 2016, it launched in Switzerland as a joint venture between Tamedia and existing shareholders. Tamedia acquired 88 percent of Denmark-based, preloved clothes site Trendsales in 2014, which also operates in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany.

Tradono has performed very well since its launch, and its app download numbers have grown strongly. The much older Trendsales (launched in 2002) is on a flatter growth trajectory, but has a very loyal audience.

In 2016, Tradono lost DKK 10 million ($1.6 million U.S.) and Trendsales lost DKK 14.8 million. It was also the year in which the CEO of Trendsales was sacked for fraudulent transactions. All in all, not a happy year.

Besides Mathiesen, the management team will consist of Caspar Wolffsen in the role of CFO, Mathias Hermansen as COO, and Rasmus Andersen as CTO. To date, Wolffsen has been CFO at Trendsales, Hermansen joined Tradono as COO from EBay Classifieds in August 2016, while Rasmus Andersen is a co-founder of Tradono.

Mathiesen loves to communicate personally to users. He emailed a pretty unusual message to Tradono users to announce the merger to them. I’m a user, and here is what I got:

Dear Lars, 
I am writing to you, because I have news that we here at Tradono are really happy to be able to share … The story I’m going to tell you, is about the little baby we created three years ago – Tradono – and the grand old lady of secondhand fashion – Trendsales. We existed side by side for the past three years. And now … Now we brought the two together ❤️ We became one company, which together will ensure that the two platforms deliver the best in secondhand fashion and lifestyle to you as a user.

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