One of Australia’s fastest growing tech companies, The Exchange Group, recently rebranded as Marketplacer and raised approximately AUD$10 million from private investors including David Paradice and Gerry Ryan to launch a ‘plug and play’ platform designed to simplify the process of creating online marketplaces and take on the $414 billion global e-commerce market.
Now valued at around AUD $70million, it is the first major round of funding for the Australian start-up which has largely flown under the radar while building and perfecting the platform across its existing marketplaces.
Of very humble beginnings
Operating in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Germany, the company’s first marketplace – BikeExchange.com.au – was officially launched in 2007 by Melbourne entrepreneurs Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter (pictured) from their parents’ lounge room with their own seed capiatal.
Marketplacer has grown to be the global online destination for everything bike and now operates four global online marketplaces – Bike Exchange, House of Home, Outdoria and Tinitrader – that collectively receive two million visitors per month.
It has signed over 2,000 retailers, delivers over $500 million a year in leads to retailers, and currently has over 200,000 products listed.
In 2012, BikeExchange was awarded the Telstra Business of the Year, and in 2013 Jason and Sam were named EY Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Under its new name, the company is aiming to capitalise on a gap in the global e-commerce and SAS markets for a plug and play solution for online marketplaces and open up its tech for the world.
The premium platform is designed to enable marketplaces of global reach and appeal to be built at speed and scale.
“Imagine launching AirBnB in a day. This investment will allow us to take our proven success and tap a global opportunity and pain point in e-commerce by enabling companies to build a massive marketplace in one week rather than years of hard work,” Wyatt said.
“There is currently no comparable off-the-shelf solution to Marketplacer – omnichannel and e-commerce do not address the holistic customer journey. Our technology is built for any product, anywhere in the world.”
Who has invested in Marketplacer?
The company has received the backing of renowned investor David Paradice and leading entrepreneur Gerry Ryan of the Jayco fame, and will channel this investment into product development, marketing, technical staff and increasing market share over the next 12 months.
Gerry Ryan has also entered the group as a board member, joining a host of high profile names including Chairman Peter Bartels. Ryan has also taken a 50 per cent shareholding in newly launched outdoor marketplace, Outdoria.
Other investors in this round include Silicon Valley-based Timothy Stonesifer (Global Finance Director HP) and Patrick Hilditch (board member and MD of Hilditch).
The investment will enable Marketplacer to expand in the Australian market and to further develop in the US and Europe, including the UK.
The company is interested in collaborating with talented entrepreneurs within big corporates or big business looking to create an online marketplace.
“We will look for opportunities within industries that are high value and volume but highly fragmented. We are looking at product and service markets alike,” Wyatt said.
“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.”
“We provide another channel for retailers to reach national and international buyers at very little cost or effort,” Wyatt said.