Introducing one of Version One’s earlier investments: VarageSale

Online marketplaces have made it easier than ever for people to buy and sell things. But the human element has been missing with the anonymity of Craigslist and eBay.

That’s why I’m happy to announce an investment we did two years ago when we participated in the seed round of VarageSale. At the time, they chose not to announce the funding, following a more general trend of going stealth.

For a long time, I had been looking to find a better Craigslist: one that was social, trustworthy, and mobile first. Many have tried to build this kind of marketplace, but ran into the chicken and egg problem in growing both the seller and buyer communities. When I first met Carl Mercier (who founded VarageSale with his wife Tami in December 2012), I instantly knew that they had found a way to solve this problem in a very scalable way.

Since then, VarageSale has created hundreds of hyper-active local communities. They have scaled quickly to more than 50 employees. This traction has allowed them to raise three subsequent funding rounds from Floodgate, Sequoia and Lightspeed.

In VarageSale, users are identified by their real names (you need to log in via your Facebook account), offering a friendlier and safer environment. VarageSale has become something of a social network built, connecting people with shared interests in local communities. Like in this story, there is a sense of camaraderie as the local Walgreens parking lot turns into a meeting place for VarageSale moms buying and selling on Friday night.

VarageSale is a local, social network built around commerce and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved with this company that Carl and Tami are building.

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