An Auckland-based ecommerce company has attracted investment from pop band Six60 ahead of its launch today of a social marketplace app where people can buy, sell and rent items and also list jobs.
Sidehustle is the brainchild of company director David Gibson and Chapman Tripp partner Michael Harper and is pitched as a destination for young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, create brands and sell their wares online.
The app is due to go live today after an 18-month development phase and trial period.
The company recently completed its second fundraising round, enticing Six60 to take a 12 per cent stake. Gibson declined to say how much money the band had committed but said the band members were attracted to the concept of helping young entrepreneurs turn "side hustles" into actual businesses.
"Six60 all started as a side hustle, which is why we strongly believe in this platform and its purpose," bandmember Matiu Walters said.
Other investors include entrepreneurs Sarah Paykel and Craig Greenwood and high-profile lawyers Greg Horton and Felicity Ellis.
Gibson, a director of Herald publisher NZME, said the Sidehustle business was specifically targeted at the younger generation of Kiwis who are familiar with social media networking and had aspirations of starting their own businesses.
"This is a global trend that is growing quickly … where brands and individuals can market their products and find jobs," Gibson said.
Initially the app will focus on products such as fashion items, healtheries, sports gear and electronics and job listings – anything from babysitting to lawn mowing to fixing things. It also intends adding a services vertical focusing on creative industries.
Gibson describes the marketplace as the "currency of young people" with a social interface.
"We connect them with customers and job opportunities to help grow their businesses."
The social networking aspect differentiated the platform from other websites such as TradeMe, he said.
Users can create a personalised social feed displaying products and job listings from individuals and businesses they keep track of. They can also "boost" listings that appear on their own feeds and receive a 2 per cent commission from any transaction made directly as a result of their boost.
Gibson said that creates a fair reward system for anyone who uses their own influence to help sell items.
Sidehustle charges a 5 per cent transaction fee with just under 3 per cent of that going to payments platform Stripe. It also offers a cash-only payment system where no commission is charged.
Users can also vouch for or blacklist providers.
The site has an age limit of 16 years and directs users to relevant legislation such as minimum wage law.
Gibson said the social marketplace industry was growing globally, demonstrated recently by Etsy's recent acquisition of British resale fashion app business Depop for more than $1.6 billion.