The Reverb.com gear site seemed to come out of nowhere and usurp eBay as the most used place online to buy and trade instruments and audio gear. Since it’s launch in 2013, the site has grown in leaps and bounds to the point where sales are expected to reach $429 million this year, according to the company. When you’re hot, everyone wants a piece, and the company recently announced a new round of funding which brought in an additional $15 million.
Reverb has a variety of investors that range from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen to institutional investors like Summit Partners, and they’re now joined by Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal, Jon Oringer, CEO of Shutterstock, Adam Bain, former COO at Twitter; Roger McNamee, founding partner of Elevation Partners; and Fabrice Grinda, co-founder of global marketplace investment firm, FJ Labs. The new round brings the total funding to $47 million.
Of course, outside investment is designed to help a company grow and that’s just what’s happening to the site. Last year, Reverb increased international users by 700 percent and grew international sales by 150 percent. Of course, the big problem is that too often a company in the musical instrument/audio business can’t grow enough to the liking of the investor, since the overall industry is relatively small. The good thing here is that Reverb is using investment funds to grow rather than borrowing money, as in the case of Gibson Brands.
Outside money also tends to homogenize the product somewhat, but that’s not been the case with Reverb as users still remain happy with both the presentation and results.
The company has also recently announced the introduction of Reverb LP, which is a new marketplace for buying and selling vinyl records online. One would think that at least some of the recent investment is going towards that new venture. Regardless, it’s a well-run site, and who doesn’t love the pictures? It’s gear porn at its best!