Faircado is raising $3 million to encourage people to buy second-hand goods

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Thrift shopping is always a gamble. That cool shirt may wash out sooner or later, and you don’t know where those cool jeans have been. Sure, some stores or websites try to filter out the bad apples, but it’s hard to get a good deal on the Internet when there are so many options.

Berlin-based Faircado has built a browser extension that aims to solve exactly that problem. The company aims to become the discovery layer for used goods and has raised €3 million in a round led by the Global 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 second-hand alternatives 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, Faircado’s 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 more than 50 partners, including eBay, Back Market, Grailed, Rebuy and Vestiaire Collective.

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

The extension is currently in beta with a few thousand users. The company didn’t disclose how much revenue it has generated so far, but said the average basket size is about $200, with “multiple purchases per user, per month.”

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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 she came up with the idea for the startup when she was thinking about how to make finding second-hand items easier.

“I am a second-hand lover [things] my whole life and could somehow really convince my friends to get away from Amazon, IKEA or Zara and adopt a more sustainable way of consuming. If you were looking for something secondhand, the experience was usually time-consuming, clumsy and unsexy. We wanted to make this process more accessible,” she told JS during a phone call.

De Wilde d’Estmael said the expansion is the first step in pointing consumers to more sustainable shopping sources. The company also wants to develop native mobile apps focused on the second-hand goods discovery layer.

Tim Schumacher, a partner at the World Fund, which invests in green companies, said decarbonization starts with people buying fewer new goods, and the fund decided to invest in Faircado because the startup plays a big role in that process .

“Faircado was almost an accident that we stumbled upon. We’ve been following them since their early days, and the progress they made on the AI ​​front has been good too. That’s why we decided it’s an excellent investment,” he told JS on a call. He added that the expansion also serves to ease the friction of changing consumer behavior around purchasing second-hand goods.

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

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The startup said it will use the funding to hire developers and marketing staff, with the aim of doubling its current workforce of 10 by the end of the year. Last year, the company brought in Oliver Hale as COO, who had previously built the Buckit second-hand marketplace.

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

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