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mpb.com captures £5 million from Mobeus and Beringea UK

March 19th 2018

Online marketplace provides superior experience when buying, selling, and trading second-hand camera equipment, tapping into a billion-dollar market

(London, UK) Mobeus Equity Partners and Beringea have co-invested in a £5 million funding round for mpb.com, a specialist online marketplace for second-hand photographic and filmmaking equipment.

Millions of new cameras, interchangeable lenses, and other equipment and accessories are sold each year, generating billions of dollars in retail revenue across Europe and the US. mpb.com facilitates the secondary market for this equipment, which has primarily been served by traditional retailers and online generalist marketplaces such as eBay. Inaccurate, unclear, or inconsistent listings on first-generation peer-to-peer online marketplaces can cause significant variation in price for identical products. mpb.com’s proprietary technology manages the entire end-to-end experience for users buying, selling, or trading equipment, automating the creation of listings for more than 4,000 different product types and dynamically updating prices based on supply and demand to provide users with superior transparency and consistency of product information and ensure they always receive competitive prices.

Launched in 2011, the Brighton-based company currently facilitates more than 6,000 transactions per month, and is on track to generate £22 million in turnover this year at a year-on-year growth rate of more than 60 per cent. Since its Series A funding round, completed in June 2016, mpb.com has grown from 28 people to a team of 90, with offices in Brighton and New York. Having already significantly grown its development and marketing teams, and launched in the US market, the company will use this latest funding primarily to scale up operations in the US and Germany. As part of the investment round, mpb.com has appointed a new chairman and CFO. FJ Labs, a New York-based specialist investor in marketplace technology companies, also joined the share cap table as part of the round.

Jane Reoch, Investment Director at Mobeus Equity Partners, said: “We originally backed mpb.com in 2016, and management has demonstrated exceptional growth over the past two years. We are delighted to be co-investing with Beringea to provide this exciting business with the further capital to build on its commercial opportunity and first-mover advantage.”

Beringea’s investment in mpb.com follows earlier backing for Watchfinder, an online marketplace for second-hand watches. Eyal Malinger, Investment Director at Beringea, said: “We’ve seen that there’s considerable potential in specialist marketplaces for pre-owned high-value products. Buying expensive equipment via online auction sites or classified ad boards is fraught with risk. Whether it’s misrepresentation of a product’s condition, missing accessories, or simply poor-quality imagery, it’s hard to know whether you’re getting the right thing at the right price. mpb.com’s technology is making these concerns a thing of the past for professional photographers and hobbyists alike – a market that is much bigger than you might think. Matt and the rest of the management team have scaled the business impressively over the past two years, and we are looking forward to supporting mpb.com through the next stage of its journey and beyond.”

Matt Barker, CEO of mpb.com, said: “We’re helping photographers and filmmakers access a greater variety of equipment than ever before, with absolute confidence in the quality and value of the items they buy, so that they can make quick and easy changes to their kit bags. Transparency of information and consistency of pricing are critical to providing the best possible marketplace experience for customers, and we’re excited to be able to bring this experience to an even bigger market as we continue to grow with this new funding.”

The completion of the funding round follows mpb.com’s inclusion earlier this month in the 2018 cohort for Tech City UK Future Fifty, the UK’s leading programme for late-stage digital businesses.