Yardsellr, a place to buy and sell items within a friend network, has raised a $5 million Series A round of funding led by Accel Partners, with participation from former backer Harrison Metal Capital, we’ve confirmed with the company.
One of the world’s leading venture capital firms, Accel just made big news for selling the overwhelming majority of its 17 percent stake in Facebook on the second market.
Harrison Metal, which previously contributed $750,000 in seed funding, currently backs so-far successful startups like CafePress, ModCloth and Plastic Jungle. A few Harrison-funded startups have been acquired by major tech companies like Google (Aardvark, AdMob, DocVerse), Twitter (Mixer Labs), and Yahoo (Xoopit).
On Yardsellr, which users can only access via Facebook Connect, sellers present their wares in terms of “blocks,” in the physical, neighborhood yard sale sense of the word. Except, the way it looks, blocks seem to function just like categories on Craigslist or eBay. For example, there are blocks for “Art,” “Books,” and “America.”
The difference is that Yardsellr wants to return the focus of commerce to something more personal than eBay; the site focuses on creating transactions between two people in a shared network.
Coincidentally, Yardsellr’s team is headed by Daniel Leffel, who formerly worked five years at eBay, along with VP of marketing Jed Clevenger and VP of community and customer support Rachel Makool, two other eBay veterans.
As opposed to eBay where sellers pay a fee to the site, buyers on Yardsellr pay the cost of the transaction. Since launching January, the site has attracted 1.3 million people to follow the site’s blocks.
Curiously enough, Facebook already has a semi-official online marketplace for buying and selling goods within the social network. In 2007, Facebook started operating its own classifieds section on the site called Marketplace, but by 2009 had passed on ownership of the platform to Oodle.
Leffel believes Yardsellr can still succeed, however, through its different, more personable approach:
Nevertheless, there are probably a lot of people out there who still think Facebook operates the Marketplace, meaning Yardsellr could have some trouble drawing users to its own service.