letgo, a US-based mobile marketplace for buying and selling goods locally has raised $175M in new funding from Naspers, Accel, Insight Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, 14W and other investors to accelerate U.S. and international growth, and to boost its already significant investment in areas such as artificial intelligence and image recognition.
“letgo has caught on faster than any of us could have anticipated, but our goal remains much bigger – to build the largest secondhand marketplace in the world,” said cofounder Alec Oxenford. “This new funding will bring us much closer to that vision. We are powering a fast-expanding secondhand economy that benefits not just buyers and sellers, but also the environment. letgo already helps tens of millions of users globally think used before they think new.”
Founded in 2015, letgo has raised over $375M to date and says it will top $23B in annual user transactions (gross merchandise value of items sold) in the next six months.The firm also announced it has reached 20M monthly active users of its marketplace and 45M downloads of its free app since launching. Its active user base grew 359% in 2016 while total items posted daily by sellers increased by over 960%.
According to Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of Classifieds at Naspers, “letgo is the most significant threat that incumbent secondhand marketplaces have faced. letgo’s early growth is unprecedented for this type of platform and it’s clearly tapped into an enormous consumer demand for a better way to buy and sell locally. In a short time, it’s become a massive marketplace used by tens of millions of buyers and sellers. And its growth has only been accelerating.”
letgo users can post an item for sale in only a few seconds by simply taking a photo, without typing a word or entering a price. The app uses artificial intelligence and image recognition to auto-title and categorize a seller’s listing.