eBay buying Twice in hopes of bringing back amateur sellers
The e-commerce company is working to make selling on eBay easier, and it will use tech from the specialist in second-hand clothing to power its new eBay Valet service.
Ben Fox RubinFormer senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
eBay wasted little time in starting its new mission of rebuilding its marketplace.
On the same day eBay began trading separately from its former payments unit, PayPal, eBay revealed it will be buying the core technology of second-hand clothing e-retailer Twice for an undisclosed sum. Twice's co-founders and about 10 key technical staffers will join eBay. Its business operations and website will shut down at the end of the month, the same time the acquisition is set to close, an eBay representative said.
The concept of Twice, founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, was to remove many of the hassles of selling online for amateur or infrequent sellers. Its site functions like an online clothing consignment store, letting people send the startup dresses, jeans, shoes and handbags from specific higher-end brands such as Chanel, Vera Wang and Diesel. The company then offers an upfront payment for the items, takes pictures of them and sells them on its website. Twice has raised about $23 million in funding since its founding, according to CrunchBase.
eBay plans to use Twice's technology and know-how to help power its new service, eBay Valet, which allows people to send collectibles, electronics other items to more experienced eBay merchants to sell for them. Last month, eBay Valet jumped into clothing -- Twice's main focus.
Recode earlier reported the acquisition plans, citing an unnamed person with direct knowledge of the deal.
eBay's purchase, which is likely small from a financial perspective, points at eBay's big focus on turning around its marketplace by trying to bring back consumers that have items to sell in their attics, closets and garages, but don't have the time or interest to put them up online. The need of bringing back these sellers is especially important now that eBay split with faster-growing PayPal. Also, eBay has struggled to draw in those types of sellers following a security breach last year.
"With billions of dollars worth of unwanted and unused items in people's possession, eBay is focused on unlocking the value of that inventory," Jordan Sweetnam, eBay's vice president of seller experience, said in a statement Monday about the Twice deal.
Twice co-founder Noah Ready-Campbell informed his team of the acquisition on Monday, the eBay representative said. The deal didn't include certain assets, such as Twice's warehouses, since eBay typically doesn't own warehouses or inventory.