Startup News: OfferUp Says “Recommerce” Revolution is Here, Jackpocket Wins with Lottery Tech
Second-hand shopping is one of the hottest growing categories in retail. And this trend is benefiting several private companies who are taking a decidedly digital approach to the so-called “recommerce’’ market.
The reselling of items such as clothing, books, and furniture grew nearly 15% in 2021 from a year earlier — twice as fast as the broader retail market, according to a 2022 report by OfferUp, one of the leading private companies in the industry.
Not surprisingly, the desire to save money is the reason most people cited for thrifting, according to the Offerup survey. But a sizable minority of shoppers do it because they want to help the environment by reducing the amount of excess clothing and furniture that ends up in landfills. Others like to hunt for unusual clothes or vintage items they can’t find elsewhere.
Besides OfferUp, U.S. private companies on the forefront of the “recommerce” revolution are Chairish and furniture specialists Kaiyo and Fernish. OfferUp provides an online and mobile marketplace app that allows customers to buy and sell electronics, furniture, and cars while Chairish’s online marketplace focuses on pre-owned high-end home furniture, art, and decor. Kaiyo is an online marketplace for pre-owned furniture and claimed in an article in the New York Times last week that it has kept more than 3.5 million pounds of furniture out of landfills. Fernish has a different business model. A rental furniture subscription service, Fernish allows customers to pay month-to-month for items from brands like Crate & Barrel, always with the option to buy outright.
There’s little doubt that a period of high inflation combined with recessionary fears is providing a nice tailwind for second-hand items.
Lottery Tech Company Jackpocket is Winning
While second-hand shopping is growing in popularity in the U.S., so is playing the lottery. Sales of state lotteries in the U.S. reached $105.26 billion last year, a 17% increase over a year earlier. And one company benefiting from the nation’s lotto fever is Jackpocket, a private company that operates the leading mobile app that allows customers to buy lottery tickets fulfilled by licensed partners. Customers can now use the Jackpocket app in 13 states and the District of Columbia, and the company has plans to expand into other states. Nationwide, over $200 million in lottery prizes have been won on Jackpocket, and 20 individuals have won prizes worth $1 million or more to date, the company reports. Jackpocket has raised over $150 million just last year alone.
On November 1, the New York Post reported that the Jackpocket app was responsible for 15% of all ticket sales in New York state for Powerball since the mega lottery began its run starting in August. The Powerball jackpot has risen to close to $1.5 billion as of late last week, and Jackpocket is likely to benefit as more Americans seek to get in on the action with just a few smartphone keystrokes.
About the author: John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking.
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