Melbourne ecommerce startup The Exchange Group, which operates four global marketplaces including Bike Exchange and House of Home, has today relaunched as Marketplacer after raising $10 million in funding from investors including David Paradice from Paradice Investment Management, and Gerry Ryan, managing director of Jayco.
As well as acquiring a 50 percent stake in the startup’s new outdoor product marketplace Outdoria, Ryan has joined the Marketplacer board. The funding, which sees the startup valued at $70 million, will be going towards marketing, hiring of new staff, and product development, including Marketplacer’s new e-commerce solution for clients creating customised online marketplaces.
The startup was originally launched as BikeExchange, a site for people to buy and sell bike-related products, by childhood friends Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter in 2007. House of Home and TiniTrader were spun out soon after. The startup reports that the four marketplaces under its umbrella now receive a combined two million visitors a month across Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Germany and delivers $500 million a year in leads to over 2,000 retailers, who have over 200,000 products listed.
The new marketplace solution, which Marketplacer has billed as a fully hosted ‘plug and play’ platform, will allow for clients to create their own customised niche marketplaces, where they can bring together buyers and sellers.
Co-founder Jason Wyatt said the fresh investment will allow Marketplacer to use its success in the space to “tap a global opportunity.”
The startup is certainly entering a competitive space. At first glance, Marketplacer seems to resemble fellow Australian Bigcommerce, which has firmly established itself as a trusted name in the online store software market, with over 85,000 clients in the small business space. It also recently launched an enterprise-grade platform for high volume retailers processing millions of dollars in payments, bringing on board high profile companies like Samsung and Marvel.
However, Marketplacer’s focus is more towards creating all kinds of marketplaces (i.e. B2B, B2C) as opposed to just online stores. For instance, Marketplacer can even be used to create a booking engine. Wyatt said a platform like AirBnB could be launched “in a day.”
Marketplacer will be using its investment to increase its market share in Australia and the US, and expand out of Germany and across Europe, with Wyatt saying the startup is looking for opportunities within industries that are high value and volume but highly fragmented.
“We are looking at product and service markets alike. Our 12 month vision is to grow top line revenue and market share for our existing marketplaces and to create more marketplaces. We will strategically look for alliances to create big marketplaces faster,” he said.