Brighton-based MPB snaps up $69M to construct out its used digital camera tools market – TechCrunch

The creator movement is entering prime time, and so is Circle with a fresh $4M – TechCrunch


Used-goods marketplaces, a web based staple because the starting of the web as we all know it, have actually come into their very own in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic: they’ve been a spot for folks clearing out their home areas to listing gadgets that they’ve which are nonetheless in good condition, making some cash within the course of; and for consumers, they’re a useful resource for locating gadgets at a time when buying in individual and spending cash in unsure financial instances have each fallen out of favor. In the present day, MPB — a preferred market that focuses on used cameras and photographic tools — is saying important funding to double down on the chance after seeing its platform “recirculate” some 300,000 gadgets of package globally annually and move £100 million ($139 million) in revenues this 12 months.

The Brighton, England-based startup has snapped up £49.8 million (about $69 million at present trade charges). It plans to make use of the cash each to broaden into extra markets — it at present has workplaces in Brooklyn and Berlin — and into extra product areas, particularly, extending {the marketplace} idea to serve content material creators.

The Collection D is being led by Vitruvian Companions, with important participation from Acton Capital, and Mobeus Fairness Companions, Beringea and FJ Labs additionally collaborating. Vitruvian is a brand new backer for MPB; the remainder have been already invested within the startup, which has raised round $91 million since 2011.

MPB didn’t disclose its valuation in a press release on the fundraise; we’ve got contacted the corporate to ask and can replace if / once we be taught extra.

For some context, that is the biggest-ever spherical raised by a startup out of Brighton. House to 1 college and proper subsequent to a different, Brighton has had some tech world focus — Brandwatch made a splash in February when it was acquired by Cision for $450 million; and it’s well-known for gaming firms and expertise — however has largely been off the fundraising radar, maybe partially as a result of it’s so near London and its personal gravitational pull for entrepreneurs and VCs. PitchBook put MPB’s valuation at $50.86 million in 2019; it’s prone to be considerably larger than this now.

“This funding spherical is a serious milestone for MPB, culminating a decade of sturdy efficiency and a imaginative and prescient to make nice package accessible and reasonably priced,” mentioned Matt Barker, MPB’s founder and CEO, in a press release. “With the backing of Vitruvian Companions and people reinvesting in our enterprise, we will speed up our US and European progress technique at scale, profitably. Pictures and videography are intrinsic to societies and cultures everywhere in the world, and at MPB we’ve got created a round mannequin that gives everybody the prospect to be visible storytellers and content material creators in a method that’s good for the planet.”

Certainly, what’s fascinating about MPB is the way it touches on and addresses plenty of themes which have been taking part in out internationally of e-commerce and wider digital society, and what’s most likely made it profitable has been its enchantment to folks on a number of of these fronts on the identical time.

First, there may be the platform it offers to folks to promote and purchase used digital camera tools. The sale of used gadgets offers house owners a possibility to generate profits off gadgets they now not want, and consumers a option to procure gadgets at decrease prices. And it has an apparent environmental angle to it, since round economic system operators encourage folks to get extra life out of electronics which may in any other case merely change into a part of landfill (or encourage extra manufacturing of recent items of their place).

However on a extra sensible stage, used-good gross sales even have usually put folks off partially as a result of they’re disadvantaged of among the ensures that you’d usually get on items when shopping for from extra established retailers.

MPB supplies shopping for and vendor safety in its personal method: by using a group of individuals to vet and put together gadgets on the market, and offering a six-month assure on gadgets offered over its platform. That has paid off for it even pre-pandemic: the corporate mentioned that its compound progress charge during the last 5 years has been 53%.

(And extra typically, used items marketplaces are seeing some large consideration from VCs in the meanwhile in Europe: in February, Wallapop in Spain raised $191 million for its extra generalised used-goods market, and in March Vestaire Collective raised $216 million.)

Second, it touches on the larger development we’ve seen across the progress of communities centered on particular moderately than normal pursuits. It’s a transparent method of conferring extra authenticity, focus and sign in an in any other case very noisy world on-line, and in a specialised space just like the sale of pictures tools, this may be particularly crucial and a singular promoting level over extra generic gross sales platforms like eBay: it means extra consideration paid by the platform to inventory, in addition to a extra centered neighborhood of consumers and sellers.

Third, there may be the main target of MPB specifically. We have now most positively seen the start of a “creator economic system” on-line, the place individuals are making livings out of their very own manufacturers (ugh), or from their particular artistic output, bypassing among the extra conventional middle-men in favor of newer ones (eg, community broadcasters now not the only gatekeepers for serialized video content material and all the work that goes into making it; YouTube conversely now makes a killing off it, and if Substack, Patreon and others prefer it play their playing cards proper, they’ll quickly, in their very own areas of curiosity, too.)

What this would possibly imply for firms like MPB is a surge of curiosity and a focus on tools for capturing these photos, though will probably be fascinating to see how and if that may be leveraged on a wider scale, given how a lot of that creation right now is going on on smartphones, which themselves proceed to get extra subtle and eat into not simply informal photographers’ shopping for patterns, however extra severe ones, too.

Within the query of scaling, MPB could have an fascinating associate within the type of Vitruvian Companions, which backs second-hand garments market Vestiaire Collective — which raised $216 million last month, one other signal of the instances and the way they’ve boosted the alternatives for used-good gross sales — alongside different marketplaces like Carwow, Simply Eat, Farfetch, Skyscanner and Trustpilot.

“MPB has developed a singular tech-enabled platform to satisfy a market want, reworking entry to pictures package to change into a world chief in its area, while constructing a product that genuinely has a optimistic influence on the world,” mentioned Tom Studd, associate at Vitruvian Companions, mentioned in a press release. “Matt and the group have achieved sturdy and worthwhile progress by latest launches within the US and Germany, and we’re delighted to associate with them for the following step of the journey. Vitruvian seems to again distinctive groups with distinctive merchandise in massive markets, and we consider Matt and the group match these standards completely.”

Sebastian Wossagk, managing associate at Acton Capital, added: “It’s at all times a privilege to look at firms like MPB develop and excel of their area. Matt and his group have already taken the primary steps into internationalisation by opening areas in Brooklyn and Berlin, and we’re excited to assist them as they pursue additional growth in each the US and Europe.”

One thing notable about MPB is that Barker once said that he based it partially as a result of he didn’t really feel that the necessities of individuals within the pictures neighborhood have been being addressed properly sufficient by extra normal websites like eBay or Gumtree. That will nonetheless be the case for these two websites (and numerous different generic gross sales platforms), nevertheless it doesn’t imply that there usually are not plenty of different gamers addressing the used-photography tools market. They embody the likes of Worldwide Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Camera World, and plenty of others with equally Search engine optimization-friendly names. That represents alternatives for consolidation, aggressive menace, and hopefully innovation for higher companies, but in addition an indication that there’s extra to this market than would possibly meet the attention.



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