Ghost, an LA-based members-only B2B marketplace specialising in surplus inventory, has announced the successful closure of a $30 million Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $68 million. Leading the round is venture capital firm Cathay Innovation, joined by existing investors Union Square Ventures, Equal Ventures, and Eniac Ventures. This infusion of capital will facilitate the recruitment of key roles in product, engineering, and design, while further enhancing the platform to meet escalating demand.
Expansion to Europe and Asia
Since emerging from stealth mode with a $20 million Series A funding round in July 2022, Ghost’s journey has been marked by rapid growth. Over the past year, uploaded inventory has surged by an impressive 500%. The gross merchandise value (GMV) run rate has escalated by over 10 times year-over-year, and the team size has doubled. With more than 1,000 members onboard, Ghost’s platform now boasts a diverse array of global retailers and top-tier brands spanning apparel, footwear, beauty, and home goods.
The US-based startup intends to utilise the funds for staffing in product, engineering, and design, and to extend their presence in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Additionally, they aim to enhance their product, focusing on automation and personalisation features.
Retailers and brands have historically grappled with the challenge of surplus inventory management, contending with limited, inefficient, and outdated liquidation options. In 2022 alone, excess inventory amounting to over $500 billion was offloaded at discount retailers, a figure expected to reach $830 billion by 2030. Alarmingly, more than $163 billion worth of inventory is discarded annually. These issues are further exacerbated by unpredictable demand and persistent supply chain disruptions.
Co-founders Josh Kaplan and Dee Murthy, having observed the inventory management struggle at fashion holding company Five Four Group, embarked on founding Ghost to address this persistent challenge. Launched in 2021, Ghost introduces a members-only B2B marketplace, discreetly enabling brand sellers to monetize surplus inventory effectively to vetted buyers. The platform serves as a comprehensive hub for retailers and brands, facilitating buying, selling, pricing, and shipping of excess goods. Backed by a robust data engine, Ghost empowers enhanced discovery and heightened conversion rates for both buyers and sellers.
Shaping the future of retail
Ghost stands as the preeminent B2B platform, reshaping the landscape for brands and retailers seeking to optimise their surplus inventory. Overcoming long-standing frustrations, Ghost melds intuitive technology with industry insights, revolutionizing the retail sector. Its all-in-one solution empowers seamless goods trading, heralding an era of effortless buying and selling in the retail ecosystem.
“Ghost has found a way to fundamentally change the industry and unlock billions for both buyers and sellers by focusing on access,” said Simon Wu, Partner at Cathay Innovation, who is joining Ghost’s board. “By allowing sellers to stop being ‘price takers’ and generate superior recovery rates while simultaneously granting buyers access to premium, highly sought-after inventory previously unattainable, Ghost grows the pie and creates win-win solutions for all parties. We’re excited to partner with Josh and Dee — two well-known commodities in retail and tech and a natural founder-market fit — as they work to scale and expand into new categories and geographies.”
“We are leveraging data science and technology to solve a problem that has previously been addressed with phone calls and fax machines,” said Josh Kaplan, Co-CEO of Ghost. “Our alpha is the ability to predict everything from market pricing to sell-through, which is extremely powerful information for our customers. Through our team’s deep expertise in the retail sector, Ghost has gained the trust of global brands across fashion, beauty, footwear, home goods and more. We are expanding our reach across the globe and connecting more of the world’s best retailers than ever before.”
Dee Murthy, Co-CEO of Ghost said, “With Cathay Innovation, we’ve gained a partner with an extensive understanding of the retail industry along with invaluable connections to a global consumer ecosystem that will help Ghost reach brands across the US, Europe and Asia. We look forward to working with them as we expand, grow and take Ghost to the next level.”
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