On Monday, Facebook announced Marketplace, an internal one-to-one e-commerce division, setting up the Silicon Valley giant for fierce competition with services like Craigslist, eBay and Bellevue, Wash., based OfferUp, possibly the Seattle area’s only unicorn.
But Nick Huzar, CEO of OfferUp, isn’t too worried.
“Our belief is that we have one purpose and one sole purpose, and that is to create the simplest and most trustworthy local marketplace on earth,” Huzar said.
OfferUp, an app that offers users a secure one-to-one marketplace to sell and buy goods, was recently valued at over $1 billion, following a fundraising round of $120 million.
Huzar said Facebook is a company to pay attention to, but its size and multitude of products and services may actually make them a less of a threat to OfferUp. OfferUp will continue to “hone in and do what we do well, and be the best at doing that,” Huzar said.
Speaking later in the day, Jeff Jordan, a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and board member of OfferUp, said competition with companies like Facebook is unavoidable.
“If you’re doing a great job of growing a really interesting business you will draw competition, that’s a certainty,” he said. “You pay attention to what Facebook is doing, how can you not.”
But, he said, “this is not their core business. They have played around in e-commerce before without a lot of success.”
Jordan, a former executive at eBay, is a big fan of microeconomics and marketplaces. The best marketplaces, he said, are the ones that can build a big network of loyal customers.
“I love marketplaces, and the biggest reason is they’re inherently fascinating,” Jordan said.
Marketplaces can be extremely valuable from an investment point of view, as shown by OfferUp’s astronomical valuation. Huzar has said the company is growing so fast that it hasn’t had time to accomplish some of its biggest goals.
“I think the opportunity and the challenge for OfferUp, as the fastest growing company that I’ve ever seen, is to continue to innovate and provide a great service,” Jordan said.