Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 28 (Let’s Barter)

Barter is a concept that has been with us from time immemorial. The human civilization started when there were no currencies. The concept of trade started with bartering things. And in current times, we often find ourselves reaching out for the basics.

Today’s Sunday story is about one such startup which brings back the age old barter system in a digital avatar!

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Let’s Barter is the largest community-driven startup for secure online bartering. Let’s Barter was founded by Pooja Bhayana (a communication graduate) and Sahil Dhingra (a BBA graduate) in October 2015. It started on social media platform as a Facebook group to facilitate barter and trade among the community. Lets Barter has made bartering as easy as adding a listing for your product on a mobile app!

Headquartered in Delhi, Let’s Barter is making a protected and secure community to barter in the most convenient way possible.

 

Let’s unfold how it works:

Let’s barter works in 3 simple steps:

  • List your product

Just click enticing pictures of your products and post a listing with a few clicks! Just select pictures, add a description and you are done! Interested parties can get in touch via the app. The startup enables the audience to meet each other, barter within their radius and see the products before bartering. This is facilitated through both, Facebook group and the newly launched Let’s Barter mobile app.

  • Chat

With the Let’s Barter app, you don’t have to share your number. So you can securely chat with others via the in-app messaging, and share your number when you want. Facebook group offers another alternative of finding your audience.

  • Barter, without hassle

Now all that’s left is to strike a deal, exchange your products and get more value for what you already have! Interested users can connect through a safe in-app messaging centre or through the comments section on the Facebook group. They have also built their own content management systems to ensure that the conversation pertains only to barter.

 

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You can post your listing for free on the Let’s Barter app across many categories like electronics, furniture, automobiles, clothing, sports, books, gaming consoles and, especially, services. People can also barter their passes and last minute tickets to events. By implementing this model, Let’s Barter provides people an alternate avenue for their used goods rather than selling them for low price on classified sites.

After having good traction on the Facebook group, they recently launched the app, which has witnessed more than 5,000 downloads. The app helps users upload products, with additional features like mutual friends and an in-app chat. The app is available for both Android and iOS.

 

Revenue Model:

Let’s Barter currently works at the pre-revenue stage. Going forward, it plans to introduce a freemium model, where some premium features will only have a paid access. These features will include subscription to notifications for a specific product or service, specified search, boosting of listings etc.

Additionally, the startup will also introduce Let’s Barter currency to help barter across categories. Users can buy this currency in form of coins if they don’t have other products or services to barter.

Funding:

Let’s Barter India raised an undisclosed amount in form of angel funding from Scale Ventures and Sanjay Choudhary of Crowdinvest. The funds are utilized to educate the market about tech-enabled bartering, scaling up the market across tier II and III cities of India, and build a strong technical and marketing team.

Challenges:

Reintroducing the age old concept of barter was certainly a difficult task. In a way, bartering goods means that one needs to trust the other party and believe that it’s a good deal. This also creates a barrier of trust. Convincing people to adapt the system in times where e-wallets and crypto-currency is in vogue is a real challenge. The founder duo also faced a money crunch in the initial months of operations in managing the overhead expenses.

Competitors

The age old concept of bartering is back into the mainstream, thanks to the internet revolution. Indian corporate barter industry was pioneered by Net4Barter back in 2000. Since then startups like BarterDaddy, Faida.com, Adalbdal.com have emerged in the competing market space.

Way Ahead:

Let’s Barter is planning to create a presence in South East Asian markets over the next few years. According to the co-founder, Mr. Sahil Dhingra, the vision of the company is to be the platform for C2C exchanges and used goods and promote barter of services.

 

 

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