Facebook Marketplace: LetGo and OfferUp respond

19 Oct 2016

Facebook’s announcement that it is launching a Marketplace app (see our coverage here and in CIR 17.19) has the potential to create significant disruption in the general classified app space previously dominated in the U.S. by rivals including OfferUp, LetGo and Close5.

Still, the leading players don’t seem too concerned … at least officially.

We asked for responses from LetGo and OfferUp. Here’s what we heard.

An AIM Group exclusive:

From Alec Oxenford, co-founder and president of LetGo

LetGo’s in a great position today. Despite facing a number of competitors from the moment we launched LetGo, today we have the fastest growing platform of its kind – and already the largest by key measures, such as active mobile users – in the U.S. and elsewhere. In just our first year, LetGo’s grown at an extraordinarily rapid pace to tens of millions of downloads and active users, with hundreds of millions of chats sent between buyers and sellers.

Letgo’s been consistently highly rated and ranked in both app stores since we launched, because buyers and sellers recognize that we offer the best all-around experience. This success is the result of several important advantages LetGo holds, including:

The quickest and simplest posting process, thanks to our key innovations, like image recognition and proprietary artificial intelligence. LetGo is the only platform of its kind in the U.S. to incorporate this type of cutting-edge technology.

Sophisticated algorithms and other technology to optimize the user experience.

A nimble, expert team fueled by a collective century of experience in this sector and rich data analytics. Many in LetGo’s team previously built OLX into a global giant – one of the most trafficked internet platforms in the world, used on hundreds of millions of devices in dozens of countries.

A strong and rapidly growing brand that’s already recognized across the U.S. and in other countries.

Competition is inevitable, whenever the opportunity is this big. But, all marketplaces are not created equal. Consumer marketplaces and the dynamics underlying them are far more complex than many realize. This is why our expertise is such an advantage. As you’ve seen in much of the recent news surrounding our competition, elements, such as effective marketplace moderation, are much more difficult to execute on, than it may seem.

Regardless of what our competitors may do, we’ll continue to focus every day on finding new opportunities – big and small – to innovate and enhance our user experience. This mentality – and more importantly, our ability to execute on it – have been, and will continue to be key factors in our success.

From Nick Huzar, CEO of OfferUp

Facebook is an amazing company that does a lot of different kind of things. This is the only thing we do.

We have a highly engaged user base, because we have built an experience that people absolutely love. Our market traction reflects that. We are confident that OfferUp will continue to lead when it comes to buying and selling locally.

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Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.