We visited Ricardo in Zug (CH).
Ricardo welcomed us to their headquarter in the heart of Zug, and gave us a tour at their nice office.
Check out the interview and have a glance at their office.
Thanks for having us. Would you tell us more about the business story that’s evolved Ricardo?
Ricardo was founded in Zug, Switzerland, as an independent Swiss company at the end of 1999 by brothers Stephan and Michael Widmer. The online marketplace was originally named auktion24.ch and offered its own products, such as bikes, electronic items and trips, at both fixed prices and via auctions. After a few months, the platform was also made available for free to private and professional sellers.
In spring 2000, the German auction house ricardo.de AG acquired auktion24.ch and renamed it ricardo.ch. From this point on, listing and selling on the platform was subject to fees.
Following two acquisitions by international owners (the British online auction house QXL in 2000 and the South African media group Naspers in 2007), Ricardo returned to Swiss ownership in 2015 when it was acquired by the Swiss media group Tamedia (now TX Group).
Ricardo has enjoyed strong, continuous growth since the bursting of the internet bubble.
Today, it has 3.7 million members who buy and sell more than five million new and used items each year, making it the largest Swiss online marketplace.
What is your core business?
We provide an online marketplace for Switzerland on which idle goods can be traded between users. We offer auctions and fixed prices. Currently there are around 1.9 Mio articles listed and 3.7 million users registered.
Today, only 2% of the Swiss annual consumer goods trade is secondhand, which means that 98% are new products, which need resources such as water and energy and produce CO2 for production and transport.
We believe that this needs to change! Every day, around 150 employees strive to offer users an attractive selection of idle products and the most trustworthy and convenient marketplace possible.
We aim to constantly improve our platform, innovate and grow the marketplace even further. Today we have around 3.7 million users and are the biggest online marketplace in Switzerland.
We are already 20 years old, but we are only just getting started!
In which countries you are active and are you planing to expand your venture in other countries?
There are no current plans to expand to other countries. We are focusing on improving the platform for the Swiss users instead.
What is your company vision?
Ricardo makes moments of joy possible in everyone’s life, by giving idle things a new home and making them appealing to the many, through the most trusted and convenient marketplace in Switzerland.
We are successful when all people have a new reflex – the Ricardo reflex: “Before buying anything, I check on Ricardo”.
Where do you see your company in five years?
Today, only 2% of the annual Swiss consumer goods trade is secondhand. We want, we need to change that! In 5 years we still are the number 1 marketplace in Switzerland – enabling users to buy and sell idle goods in a convenient and trustworthy environment.
How many employees work at your company at the moment? Are you planning to expand?
We currently have 150 employees at 3 different locations in Zug (Switzerland), Valbonne (France) and Belgrade (Serbia). We are constantly growing and are always looking for talents in various fields.
What’s the average age of your team members?
Currently the average age is 32 years.
What kind of attitude should new employees bring, in order to work at your company?
“Get sh*$” done”! Be inspired!
Listen to your team members! Stay flexible! Ship it!
How does your recruitment process look like?
We usually start things off with a video interview to get a first impression of the candidate. This happens in German and/or English. It includes around 3-5 questions and is done by the HR and the line manager. If we like what we hear and see, we invite the candidate to meet his line manager and 1 person from the team.
For some jobs there might be a case study, which is being discussed.
Our CEO will meet all candidates as a last step. Why? Because he is grounded enough to be at the base. Even though he does meet all of them, it does not mean that he has the last word.
The last word is usually with the team.
Why is it fun to work at your company? Do you offer any employee benefits?
We all like oranges. And we appreciate the difference of human beings. It’s OK to be weird. It’s OK to be normal. Or anything in between. We love our office dogs. There is free fresh fruits, water, coffee and healthy snacks. And most importantly there is a positive and creative vibe in our offices.
Where is your office located, and how big is it?
We have around 300 square meters in Zug and smaller places in Valbonne and Belgrade.
Did you get help from an interior designer to design your office?
We only moved here (Zug) in May 2019 and got help from Alba Carint an architect we are friends with.
What is special about your office?
We do not have fixed work places, but sit with the team we currently work on the project with. Because project work is so important, we also have a huge space in the middle of the office where we hold informal meetings, relax, chat – or do presentations where all employees join. Also, there is table soccer and a PS4.
Thank you Ricardo-Team for the interview and photoshoot!
Location: Zug, Switzerland Website: ricardo.ch
Photos: Andreas Lukoschek