When OfferUp launched four years ago, aiming to take on industry titan Craigslist, it looked a lot like David challenging Goliath. But as it turns out, David is growing up quickly.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based startup, which connects buyers and sellers via its mobile-friendly marketplace, said this morning that it’s on pace to process more than $14 billion worth of transactions this year. For context, eBay’s gross merchandise volume was $15 billion eight years after its launch.
“I think more than anything we’re just really blown away and enthusiastic about all this growth we’ve been seeing and I think it’s just a testament to the audience and our product and our team really being focused on delivering a simple and very trustworthy solution,” said CEO Nick Huzar. “That’s what we obsess over day in and day out and we’re just very excited that it seems to be working and resonating with a lot of people.”
Huzar disclosed the 2016 projection in an open letter about the company’s growth. He also noted that the OfferUp app has been downloaded more than 18 million times and 45 new employees joined the company in 2015.
“There is little doubt that 2015 was the biggest year yet for OfferUp, with millions of downloads, expansion into new cities and a growth rate that few marketplaces have ever experienced,” Huzar says in the letter. “This growth is a direct reflection of your passion for OfferUp and our focus on delivering the best possible experience.”
OfferUp bills itself as a user-friendly marketplace to buy and sell goods locally. Users create profiles, collect ratings, and have the ability to message one another within the app.
The startup now has 13 times the number of transactions in the marketplace as it did this time last year. OfferUp’s team has grown to nearly 80 employees and four months ago expanded its 6,000 square foot office to nearly 18,000. Despite this explosive growth, the company has yet to make any real money. But last year investor Josh Breinlinger told GeekWire he sees monetization as a fairly certain future.
“We’re not built on any other platform,” he said. “We own all of the usage, we own billions and billions of dollars of transactions. We can monetize that.”
In November, OfferUp announced over $90 million in funding, talking publicly about its success for the first time in an exclusive interview with GeekWire. At that time, Huzar said the company had processed $2.9 billion worth of merchandise on its platform.
The marketplace is available in nearly all major U.S. cities and plans to continue to grow domestically. As of now, OfferUp isn’t looking to expand internationally, according to Huzar.
OfferUp doesn’t speak openly about valuation, but it is rumored to be the Seattle area’s only unicorn, a startup valued at more than $1 billion.
[Editor’s Note: OfferUp is a GeekWire annual sponsor.]