letgo wants to reinvigorate secondhand selling with AI

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Despite the origins of online marketplaces, encouraging people to sell to each other online, being in collectables, secondhand and antique products, they have increasingly started to focus onboard new goods. But letgo wants to breathe new life into selling secondhand by harnessing the powerful technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Letgo because it has revealed it has snagged a $500 million funding round from Naspers, the South Africa-based internet company. Before this investment, the company was valued at $1 billion. Despite the technological basis, letgo sounds very much like eBay in the year 2000:

We’ve made it easy to check out a user’s profile, ratings and reviews to see who you’re chatting with and what others have said about them. The technology helps us personalize the user experience and moderate our marketplace, which is a huge advantage at our scale. We also have chat built into the app, so users don’t have to deal with the slow back-and-forth of email.
– Alec Oxenford, co-founder, letgo

If you think you’ve heard the name before, Alec Oxenford, then you might remember the Argentinian from OLX. He founded one of the biggest online classifieds companies in the world with 330 million users and 60 million listings a month. It is the largest online classifieds platform in 35 countries including India, Brazil, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal and the Ukraine.

What is doubtlessly letgo’s most interesting feature and USP is how you list items. The app makes it very easy to sell. All you do is take a photo. Letgo says it is the only app of its kind that automatically titles and categorises your listings using artificial intelligence and image recognition. Can anyone who has sold on the app confirm that it really is that easy?

Letgo says it is the largest and fastest growing app to buy and sell locally and already among the top mobile apps in America. The most popular categories include electronics, cars and collectables, clothing, furniture and other home décor items.

At the moment letgo is enjoying success and popularity in the USA but isn’t well known in the UK yet, but that could change with the new injection of funds. Have you used letgo and is it a useful outlet for merchants?

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