Faircado raises $3 million to encourage people to buy used products

Second-hand purchases are always a gamble. That cool shirt might get washed sooner rather than later, and there’s no telling where those sturdy jeans have been. Sure, some stores or websites try to filter out the bad apples, but it’s hard to get a good deal online when there are so many options.

Berlin-based Faircado has created a browser extension that aims to solve that exact problem. The company wants to become the discovery layer for used goods and has raised €3 million in a round led by World Fund. Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, NEA, Northzone, BackBone Ventures, Earlybird and Minc Accelerator also participated.

The idea is quite simple: the extension uses a combination of image and text matching to suggest alternatives used when you search for a product on sites like Amazon, Zalando or Patagonia.

For example, if you’re looking for a new iPhone to buy on Amazon, the extension will automatically show you used options from sites like eBay. Currently, the Faircado extension works with electronics, books and clothing.

The company said the extension supports 1,600 sites, including Amazon, Zalando, Patagonia and Apple. These recommendations come from over 50 partners, including eBay, Back Market, Grailed, Rebuy, and Vestiaire Collective.

While you can download and use the Faircado extension from anywhere, the company is focusing on expanding in Germany first and plans to launch it in the UK later this year.

The extension is currently in beta with a few thousand users. The company did not reveal how much commerce it has driven so far, but said the average basket size is about 200 euros, with “multiple purchases per user, per month.”

The Faircado team. Image credits: Faircado

Faircado was founded in 2022 by Evoléna de Wilde d’Estmael and Ali Nezamolmaleki, who met at Y Comibnator-backed AirHelp.

De Wilde d’Estmael said he came up with the idea for the startup thinking about how to make it easier to find second-hand items.

“I have been a fan of second-hand [things] my whole life and somehow I was able to convince my friends to move away from Amazon, IKEA or Zara and adopt a more sustainable way of consuming. When you were looking for something secondhand, the experience was often time-consuming, inconvenient, and unappealing. We wanted to make this process more accessible,” he told TechCrunch during a call.

De Wilde d’Estmael said the extension is the first step in guiding consumers towards more sustainable purchasing sources. The company is also looking to develop native mobile applications, aimed at the used product discovery layer.

Tim Schumacher, a partner at the Global Fund, which invests in green companies, said decarbonization begins when people buy fewer new products, and the fund decided to invest in Faircado because the startup plays an important role in that process.

“Faircado was almost an accident that we stumbled upon. We have followed them since their inception and the progress they made on the AI ​​front was also good. So we decided that it is a great option for investment,” he told TechCrunch during a call. He added that the extension also serves to mitigate the friction of changing consumer behavior around purchasing used goods.

Faircado makes money from affiliate sales and clicks. The company is not yet cash flow positive and wants to focus on growth for the time being, De Wilde d’Estmael said.

The startup said it will use the funds to hire developers and marketing staff, with the goal of doubling its current staff of 10 by the end of the year. Last year, the company hired Oliver Hale as chief operating officer, who had previously created second-hand marketplace Buckit.

The startup competes directly with Beni, backed by Buoyant Ventures, which also offers an extension for US-based buyers. There is also Gfully, which acts as an aggregator for second-hand clothing. However, Faircado is hopeful that its positioning in Europe will be a key driver of its growth.

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