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OfferUp is an online mobile-first C2C marketplace with an emphasis on in-person transactions. It was founded as a competitor to Craigslist, differentiating itself with mobile-friendly apps and user profiles with ratings.
Type of site
|Founded||April 2011 (2011-04)|
Arean Van Veelen
|Native client(s) on||iOS and Android|
Launched in 2011 by Nick Huzar, former co-founder and CTO of Konnects, Inc., and Arean van Veelen, OfferUp is a mobile-driven local marketplace that competes with companies such as eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. In 2016 the company raised $130 million in funding, bringing the company's total funding to more than $221 million, and was the only Seattle-area closely held tech company valued at more than $1 billion, making them the area's only unicorn company. Investors include: Andreessen Horowitz, Warburg Pincus, GGV Capital, Altimeter Capital, Jackson Square Ventures, Allen & Company, Tiger Global Management, T. Rowe Price, Quixotic Ventures, Alliance of Angels, Third Kind Venture Capital, Vy Capital, Coatue Management, and Max Levchin; angel investors including Serena Glover, Andrew Wright, and Rudy Gadre.
In 2015, OfferUp was named one of the Hottest Startups by Forbes, citing the companies explosive growth between funding rounds throughout the year, and was well-placed to takeover the place Craigslist had once held in the marketplace. Since then, the company has become the largest marketplace for buyers and sellers and was named one of The 7 Most Innovative Startups in Seattle by Inc. OfferUp has broken the Top 50 most downloaded free apps on Apple Appstore and Google Play, above Groupon, eBay and Lyft, is regularly named one of the best places to sell gently used goods and has been lauded for being easier to list products on than sites like eBay, thanks to its clean user interface.
According to Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, during her 2016 “Internet Trends” report, OfferUp sees average daily time spent per user in the United States growing from 12 minutes per day in November 2014 to 25 minutes in June 2015, on par with Instagram and Snapchat and more than Twitter and Pinterest. She also noted that the company's gross merchandise volume has grown at a faster clip than eBay at the same stage of the respective companies.
As of October 2017, the company is said to have 33 million users and saw an increase in transactions from $2.9 billion in 2015 to more than $14 billion in 2016. Overall, the company grew 166% between 2015 and 2017, according to comScore and generated more peer-to-peer transactions in the first five years than eBay North America in its first ten years. The top categories on the marketplace include: toys, furniture and cars. OfferUp's employee numbers have also experienced explosive growth, starting at 11 employees in 2015, growing to 67 in 2015, and 218 employees in January 2018. OfferUp is based out of Bellevue, Washington and is currently used in every major city across the United States, with plans to expand internationally. The company moved into a new office space in 2017 which was furnished only with items found on the platform.
Acquisition of Letgo
On March 25, 2020 OfferUp announced they were acquiring rival letgo and raising $120 million led by letgo owner OLX Group. The letgo app in the United States was merged into the OfferUp app on August 31, 2020.
The OfferUp platform, offered for iOS, Android and web, facilitates buying and selling used goods. The marketplace, which has been optimized for smartphones, features large photos of products for sale via an infinite scroll interface. For buyers, products are featured based on the geo-location closest to the buyer to help encourage face-to-face user interactions and encourage community-centric relationships, but can also be filtered by category, price and distance. On the seller side, products are listed immediately by uploading a photo from a user's smartphone or computer ; the platform makes it easy to sort inbound inquiries by the highest bid before contacting prospective buyers to agree upon price and meeting place.
OfferUp currently offers a “bump” feature, which allows users to move their item to the top of the queue for increased visibility at a nominal fee. Transactions are completed using cash or through OfferUp's in-app payment platform. The company's product team continues to focus on removing “friction” and making transactions as seamless as possible for both buyers and sellers.
OfferUp conducted surveys about marketplace opportunities and saw that women, in particular, were hesitant because of safety concerns; Customized profile features include verification badges, positive review attributes, average response time, trusted connections and personalized background images. The app includes messaging features for buyers and sellers to connect directly, without giving up personal information like email address or phone number 
OfferUp also has ongoing partnerships with local police stations and select California Ralph's locations to establish well-trafficked and well-monitored Community MeetUp Spots for transactions to take place at. The company works with more than 1800 police departments across the country and there are currently more than 450 active Community MeetUp spots, marked by donated placards indicating the designated, monitored spot. Donated placards and information are available to any police department, in any quantity, that requests them through the OfferUp website. Buyers and sellers can find more information on their local spots by clicking on the small green icon on the bottom right of their chat screen, which will reveal a map of nearby designated spots. In addition to in-person protections, OfferUp claims its anti-fraud technology guards users by detecting signs of possible scams based on keyword usage.
As of April 2019, OfferUp has won the following awards:
- 425 Business CEO of the Year in 2017
- Seattle Business Tech Impact Gold Award (Consumer) in 2017
- Geekwire App of the Year Award in 2016.
- Seattle Business Tech Impact Silver Award (Consumer/Retail) in 2016
- Seattle Business Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2016
- Geekwire Start of the Year Award Finalist in 2015
- Eastside Business of the Year award in 2019
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