In 2006, Nick Martin set out on a mission to sell all of his belongings — except for his bike and his bus — on eBay. He was living out of his van in Grand Junction and biking professionally for Trek/VW’s regional team — living the Colorado dream. But soon he found himself selling gear for his fellow racers, and in 2007, The Pro’s Closet was born.
Today, the Boulder-based company — which specializes in buying, selling, trading and refurbishing used bikes and parts — has grown to 40 employees and has expanded its services nationwide.
But the real news isn’t its homegrown success story. Just yesterday, this largely non-tech company landed $9 million in funding from one of the most well-respected tech VCs in Colorado, Foundry Group.
The funding comes after a year of high growth for The Pro’s Closet, driven by its partnerships with major dealers and manufacturers in the industry, as well as its “Trade-UP” program, which allows customers to trade in their old bikes for store credit.
"We're the trusted outlet for customers to buy and sell pre-owned bikes and components," said marketing director Thomas Stimpson. "We offer a stress-free and transparent selling process for anyone looking to unlock the value of their current bike by buying bikes instantly. Every item we sell is inspected, cleaned and put through a rigorous reconditioning, giving customers the peace of mind that the pre-owned bike they're buying is free of defects and ready to ride."
The company, which currently operates online through its eBay store, plans to use the investment to focus on developing the tech side of the business.
"We see an opportunity to reach cyclists across a number of platforms," Stimpson said. "eBay has long been a major destination for cyclists to find high-quality products at a great price, and it will continue to be part of our business in the near future. In the coming months we'll be launching new software that will enable us to sell across a number of platforms so that we can reach customers on their shopping platform of choice."
The Pro’s Closet is in the process of building a new site and e-commerce storefront, which they hope will be live by the end of Q4. The company also plans to expand its local team — hiring for front-end and back-end engineers with Ruby experience, as well as roles in marketing, design and finance.
The round was led by Foundry Group with participation from existing investor Ridgeline Ventures. As part of the deal, Foundry Group co-founder Seth Levine will join The Pro’s Closet board of directors. The board currently includes co-founder Nick Martin; founding partner of Ridgeline Ventures, Erich Tengelsen; entrepreneur and natural products industry pioneer, Hass Hassan; and Craftsy CEO and co-founder John Levisay.
Photo via Shutterstock.