The market for used goods, an online staple since the inception of the Internet, as we know it, has really come into its own during the Kovid-19 epidemic: they are a place for people to clean their domestic spaces That they can list it who are still in good condition, making some money in the process; And for buyers, they are a resource for finding items at a time when shopping in person and spending money in uncertain economic times have both fallen out of favor. Today, MPB – a popular marketplace that specializes in used cameras and photographic equipment – is announcing significant funds to double the opportunity each year after seeing “recirculate” around 300,000 items of kit globally.
The Brighton, England-based startup has acquired £ 49.8 million (around $ 69 million at current exchange rates). It plans to use the funds to expand to more markets – it currently has offices in Brooklyn and Berlin – and expand the market concept to serve content creators, in particular, more product areas.
Series D is being led by Vitruvian Partners, with significant participation from Acton Capital, and Mobius Equity Partners, Beringia and FJ Labs are also participating. There is a new support for the Vitruvian MPB; The rest was already invested in the startup, which since 2011 has grown to about $ 91 million.
The MPB did not disclose its valuation in a fundraising statement; We have contacted the company to ask and will update if we get more information.
In some context, this is the biggest round raised by a startup from the university-fueled city of Brighton that has some tech world focus – Brandwatch made the splash in February when it was acquired by Cision for $ 450 million it was done; And it is well known to gaming companies and talent – but has largely moved away from the fundraising radar, perhaps in part because it is closer to London and has its own gravitational force for entrepreneurs and chancellors. Pitchbook rated MPB at $ 50.86 million in 2019; Now it is likely to be much higher.
“This funding round is a major milestone for MPB, a culmination of a decade of robust performance and superb kits to make it accessible and affordable,” said MPB founder and CEO, Matt Barker, in a statement. ” “With the support of Vitruvian Partners and Reinvesting in our business, we can accelerate our American and European growth strategy on a large scale, profitably. Photography and videography are intrinsic to societies and cultures around the world, and MPB We have created a circular model that gives everyone a chance to become a visual storyteller and content creator that is good for the planet. “
In fact, what is interesting about MPB is how it touches and addresses the many themes around e-commerce and the wider digital society around the world, and perhaps what makes it a success is for one or more people Is the appeal. Of those fronts at the same time.
First, there is the platform that allows people to sell and buy used camera equipment. The sale of used goods gives owners the opportunity to make money from items they no longer need, and is a way for buyers to purchase items at a lower cost. And it has a clear environmental angle, as circular economy operators encourage people to get more life from electronics that might otherwise only be part of landfills (or encourage more manufacturing of new goods in their place).
But on a more practical level, used-good sales have also often bothered people because they are deprived of certain guarantees that you would normally get on goods when buying from more established retailers.
MPB provides procurement and seller protection in its own way: by appointing a team of people to design and prepare items for sale, and a six-month guarantee on items sold on its platform.
(And in general, used-goods markets are drawing some major attention from vice-chancellors in Europe at the moment: in February, Valapop in Spain raised $ 191 million for its generalized used-goods market.)
Second, it touches on the larger trend seen around the development of communities focused on specific rather than general interests. This is a clear way to convey more authenticity, attention and signal online in a very noisy world, and in a particular area such as the sale of photography equipment, it can be especially important and more common sales platforms such as eBay But there can be a unique selling point: it means that the platform has a greater focus on stock, as well as a more focused community of buyers and sellers.
The third is the focus of MPB in particular. We have certainly seen the birth of a “producer economy” online, where people are making livings bypassing some traditional middle men in favor of new ones from their own brands (ugh) or from their specific creative production. (For example, network broadcasters are no longer the sole gatekeeper for only serial video content and all the work that goes into making it; YouTube moreover stops killing it now, and if it does its cards like Subtack, Patron and others Plays right if they soon, even in their own areas of interest.)
What this might mean for companies like MPB is a spurt of interest and attention on devices to capture those images, although it will be interesting to see how and if this can be leveraged on a wider scale. Given how much of today’s manufacturing is happening on smartphones, it continues to refine itself more and feed into the buying patterns of not only casual photographers, but more serious ones as well.
As for the scaling question, MPB will have an interesting partner in the form of Vitruvian Partners, which supports the second-hand clothing market Vestiaire Collective – which raised $ 216 million last month, another sign of the times and how they used Opportunities are increased. -Good sales – along with other marketplaces such as Carwow, Just Eat, Farfetch, Skyscanner and Trustpotot.
Tom Stud said, “MPB has developed a unique technology-enabled platform to meet the need of the market, converting access to photography kits to become a global leader in its field, which is truly on the world Makes a positive impact, ”said Tom Stud, Partner. At Vitruvian Partners, said in a statement. “Matt and the team have achieved strong and profitable growth in the US and Germany through recent launches, and we are happy to partner with them for the next leg of the journey. Vitruvian looks back at exceptional teams with unique products in large markets, and we believe Matt and the team fit those criteria perfectly. “
Sebastian Wasagak, managing partner of Abton Capital, said, “It is always a privilege to see companies like MPB and excel in their fields. Matt and his team have already ventured into internationalization by opening locations in Brooklyn and Berlin, and we are excited to support them as they expand further into both the US and Europe. “
Something notable about MPB is that Barker once said that he installed it partly because he didn’t feel that the needs of people in the photography community were being well addressed by more common sites like eBay or Gumtree . This may still be the case for those two sites (and countless other generic selling platforms), but this does not mean that there are not many other players addressing the used photography equipment market. They include Worldwide Camera Exchange, Park Camera, Camera World, and many others with an equally SEO-friendly name. It represents opportunities for consolidation, competitive threat and innovation with hope for better services, but is also an indication that this market has more than meets the eye.