Sella is a company that employs gig workers to advertise and resell unwanted products and raises money of $3 million

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Sella an online business that relies on gig workers to advertise, list and sell items purchased by customers on its platform, has raised $3 million.

Its Portland, Ore.-based company has witnessed an increase in demands for its services during the past five months, increasing in the size month-to-month. In February, it grew beyond its Oregon roots to an additional hub located in Dallas, Texas, and it is planning to expand into Seattle in the coming three months.

Many customers have been using the website to clear their homes of unwanted items and also to earn some money in the process.

“They have all that things in their home and they don’t need that things,” CEO and co-founder Byron Binkley said. 

The market for resales was stimulated due to the anthrax pandemic that saw many who had extra time at home tried buying and selling things on the internet. The resale market’s growth has been a long-running trend and secondhand sales are expected to hit $43 billion by the end of the year, and will increase to the figure of $77 billion in 2025 according to research conducted by GlobalDataCompany.

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“The changes accelerated by pandemic aren’t trends anymore and are massive changes in the way people behave,” Geoff Harris director of Flying Fish Ventures, said in an announcement. “The ways people consume food is changing, which makes the timing important to our investments in Sella that we see as the “Amazon for resales.’ “

However Sella’s business strategy is not cyclically correlated to the economic recession. Binkley noted that users tend to be more inclined to earn additional cash by selling off unwanted items, whereas buyers are likely to be shopping for products that are less expensive. The researcher added that there’s growing demand for gigs to earn with extra income.

Although demand hasn’t been a problem for the company, keeping control of its operations as it grows is proving difficult.

For the transaction to take place on Sella, the gig worker has to first get the item from the seller by mail or by picking it up. Then , the worker will take a picture of the item, make an item’s listing and price based on the information provided by the seller and research on the internet, and then publish it on five platforms like Craigslist, eBay and OfferUp. The seller is only paid when the buyer has accepted and is satisfied with the product.

There’s also a plethora of tech-enabled , well-funded competitors in the resale market that range from publicly traded firms like the RealReal and Thredup and startups like Gazelle.

Venture capitalists will mention that online resales has been tried several times before, and numerous startups failing to develop an economically viable method, Binkley said.

Ebay Valet, for example allows users to ship objects to an online retailer for listing and sale however it was shut down in the year 2015. Gone app launched in 2015, which let users sell their gadgets and tech gadgets on the internet, shut down in 2017 after raising $3 million, as per PitchBook.

“There’s been many attempts to open up the sell-it’s-for-me market,” Binkley said. “By the vast majority it’s not worked out. They’ve not been able to make the unit economy work.”

He said the fact that Sella was the very first company to make use of the concept of gig economies, which, he believes, is now a more mature and well-known sector. The company’s model doesn’t require central warehouses or receiving facilities to process and sell products, which carry the cost of capital-intensive overhead. Instead, the gig-workers make use of the space in their homes for storage of things that the company refers to as “microwarehouses.”

Sella was founded by Blinkley who was the founder of several companies, including Proto Software and Craver. Sella is joined by Jordan Barnes, who was the previous head of marketing for Mercari as well as George Shotz, who was the first operation manager of Instacart.

The Seattle-based Flying Fish, which focuses on investing in AI-powered startups was the lead investor in the round. Sella has not disclosed its worth.

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