HomeFundingBerlin-based Faircado closes €3 million to accelerate AI-powered second-hand shopping

Berlin-based Faircado closes €3 million to accelerate AI-powered second-hand shopping

Faircado, a trailblazing AI-powered second-hand shopping assistant, has successfully closed a €3 million pre-seed funding round. The investment was led by World Fund, Europe’s leading climate VC. The round also involves notable investment from Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, NEA, and Northzone, via the Slush 100 Startup Prize, as well as Impact Shakers. 

With a flurry of recent investment for Faircado, the round combines €1 million from World Fund, €1 million from Slush VC’s, and €150 thousand from Impact Shakers. The total €3m figure includes an initial investment of €750 thousand from BackBone Ventures, Earlybird and Minc accelerators as well as Peak Capital and Atomico’s angels, among others in November 2022. The fresh capital will fuel team expansion, geographical growth into UK and French markets, and further development of its image recognition technology.

Founded in 2022 by Evoléna de Wilde d’Estmael and Ali Nezamolmaleki, the Berlin-based startup offers an AI-powered browser extension that helps consumers automatically find second-hand alternatives when shopping online, drawing from a database of 60+ million products from 50 different partners including eBay, Back Market, Grailed, Rebuy and Vestiaire Collective. 

Using advanced AI, Faircado’s in-house image-matching algorithms gather key information including product images, titles and brands to provide users with tailored resale recommendations. Employing both a revenue-per-click and a commission-based model, Faircado earns a percentage commission on sales generated through its platform to partner sites, and charges a fixed fee for each user redirected to these platforms.

By 2030, the second-hand clothing market is projected to surpass fast-fashion in size, driven largely by Gen Z’s demand for sustainable consumption. However, as it stands, only about 7% of the world’s resources are currently recycled within the circular economy – a figure that has steadily declined since 2018 due to rising material extraction. 

Faircado aims to elevate this recycling rate and address the need for convenient and eco-friendly shopping solutions by promoting the purchase of ‘pre-owned’ items, positioning re-commerce at the forefront of e-commerce’s sustainable future. Currently, Faircado’s extension supports over 1,600 websites, ranging from Amazon and Zalando, to Patagonia and Apple, offering consumers like-for-like items across fashion, electronics, and books. Closely analysing market demand trends, Faircado plans to broaden its offering to include furniture and children’s items, further shaking up traditional retail across new sectors. 

‘World Fund is an ideal partner for Faircado’, said Co-Founder and CEO Evoléna de Wilde d‘Estmael. ‘Their expertise, expansive network and commitment to climate tech that bolsters a regenerative world will be instrumental as we scale our product. Tim’s experience in founding and then scaling successful brands like Ecosia and Eyeo (the firm behind AdBlock), to millions of users and millions in revenue, providing invaluable insight into the intersection of mass-market consumer tech and circular economy principles. With this latest funding, we aim to make sustainable choices more accessible and mainstream for millions of consumers’.

Tim Schumacher, General Partner at World Fund, added: ‘We see immense potential in Faircado’s mission to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Simply put; our society buys too much stuff, while our basements, bookshelves and closets are full of exactly the stuff other people want. At the same time, we tend to forget about this fact, which is why I love when Faircado automatically tells me while shopping on Amazon for example that “wait a minute, here’s the same stuff used, in great condition, yet 80% cheaper’.”

Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.

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