Following Record Growth, VarageSale Brings Kijiji Founder on Board

Following what it describes as a “record-breaking year of growth,” VarageSale has added Kijiji founder Janet Bannister—now a partner at venture capital firm Real Ventures—to its board.

VarageSale says that as mobile shopping increases in Canada, Bannister can help evolve a long-term monetization strategy for the Toronto-born startup.

“VarageSale is a truly compelling business, serving the very core of what today’s consumers are looking for when it comes to online shopping,” says Bannister. “Trends show us that more and more Canadians are going second-hand, every day—with most gravitating towards marketplaces based on safety and a sense of community.”

VarageSale has 80% female users, according to the company, possibly because its proprietary approach—which verifies profiles via Facebook Connect and an additional manual review process—screens users before they can buy and sell within local communities.

Having recently commissioned a market survey, VarageSale found that one in five Canadian women have never used an online classifieds site or app, with the overwhelming majority of those noting concerns over safety as to the reason.

“VarageSale is now the leading buy and sell app in Canada for women,” says Andrew Sider, CEO of VarageSale. “Our unique business strategy enables us to break into new markets by targeting under-served consumers, thereby establishing us as the most relevant platform for local communities.”

The company says its prioritization of real identity has resulted in more accountable buy and sell experiences for VarageSale users.

“VarageSale’s position in the online classified space is unique,” added Bannister. “The plan is to help continue VarageSale’s extended growth trajectory and ever-advancing market position, cementing its place as Canada’s leading, safety-first online marketplace.”

VarageSale, which bounced back from layoffs last year and more recently a CEO change, was founded in 2012.