Shutting down Mage Market

Peer Richelsen
3 min readMar 29, 2020


Dear customer, store owner, reader.

After a month of consideration we’ve decided to proceed a shutdown of all operations for

Covid — 19 has impacted our company and overall hobby industry in a way no one could have predicted nor prepared for. We’ve experienced 60% less revenue— in a crucial time of our company, where every single $ matters.

Over the past 3 and a half years we’ve given our best to build the most superior marketplace to buy and sell collectibles, first and foremost Magic: The Gathering.

However as a seed funded company by all-star investors such as Y Combinator and amazing angel investors of Twitch, we’ve not found a way to build a profitable business fast enough in order to survive such global crisis and revenue fallout.

Additionally, we observe concerning developments in the “paper” industry of Magic: The Gathering, namely cancellation of Magic Fests, local shutdowns of local game stores, decline of private game nights due to quarantine and much more. While all of these measurements are the correct thing to do, it lead us to the decision to shutdown further operations in this industry.

We do not believe the market will recover in the next 12 months, potentially never.

An option would be to pivot the company into a new market, which might result in immediate layoffs of our team members.

My cofounder Malte and I believe that in these times, the right thing to do is to announce a controlled shutdown of operations and use the little money left to pay all employees extended severances and help everyone to find a new job opportunity.

What does this mean for me as a customer?

Don’t be scared. We will neither run away with any money (literally technically impossible thanks to our payment provider nor would we sell any data without your consent. and its mobile apps will be available for the next few weeks, minimum until April 30th, potentially longer. However, future purchases and sales will be deactivated, starting this week.

We will inform every customer to manually withdraw their balance to their bank account. After April 30th, we will offer support over email regarding your data and your balance — nevertheless, we strongly recommend doing everything necessary beforehand via the website or app.

Accordingly to GDPR, we plan to fully destroy all customer data after 6 months, with several email reminders leading towards this event. If you want to close your account beforehand, you can find the option in the settings:

That being said, we’re talking to several competitors in the industry who might give Mage Market and its employees a new home.

While we still have hope that there might be an opportunity to continue this venture under a new roof, all major companies in the hobby industry are negatively affected and the likelihood is slim.

*Edit: 3rd December 2020: After 8 months of negotiations with two potential acquirers, one investor, and one new potential CEO we’ve not found a way to continue rebooting the operations and have started the process of dissolving the company.

A big thank you

to everyone who has supported us in the past. Mage started out with a tiny Kickstarter campaign, previously called “Snapcardster” and got accepted by the famous Y Combinator accelerator, becoming the 7th German team to join the worlds best institution for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

To everyone who has backed us on Kickstarter, the founders in our Y Combinator batch, who go through the same crisis, our partners at YC and to our store owners who gave us a chance in a highly competitive environment:

Thank you 🙏


Peer & Malte

Malte and Peer at Y Combinator W19 Demo Day
Malte and Peer at Y Combinator W19 Demo Day, San Francisco 2019



Peer Richelsen

Y Combinator Alumni W19, previously co-founder CEO, mostly active on twitter @peer_rich